Tax increases can’t always be council’s answer

Not another tax increase. The council will soon discuss raising the gas tax. How is this extra tax money going to be used? Before the discussion of more tax increases, we should have a discussion on the accountability of the council and other government agencies.

For example, there are about 85,600 registered vehicles on Kauai according to the State of Hawaii. The average registration fee is about $200 per vehicle per year. The total of the state and county gas tax is $.33 per gallon. Also, in Hawaii there is an excise tax of about $.09 per gallon.

Altogether, these taxes and fees generate an estimated $35 million a year in revenues. Also, there are property taxes and income taxes, which a small percentage should go to road repair and maintenance. How much of this tax revenue goes toward roads and road maintenance? The government needs to compare the revenues being generated to what is needed to maintain and repair the roads (which they should already know in the budget process). This would result in a surplus or shortfall, which then should be addressed.

Show the taxpayers the numbers and be accountable to the people of Kauai. How much has road repair increased as compared to the revenues from these various fees and taxes?

In 2005 the registration for my Ford Ranger was $104.50, however by 2015 it jumped to $206.25. This represents a 98 percent increase in the last 10 years. How much has the cost of road maintenance increased? And furthermore, how many taxpayers of Kauai had their income increase by 98 percent in the last 10 years?


Albert Spencer is a resident of Kapaa.


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