Taxation without representation is no way to govern

Some of our elected officials are looking for ways to come up with funding for the repairs of our streets and highways and for improving them. Of course, that means more taxes for all of us.

Increase our GET rate; increase our gasoline taxes; increase our vehicle registration fees; and anything else they can think of. And when I say “elected officials,” that doesn’t mean just our elected county council and mayor. It is apparent that our island’s representation to the state Legislature have created some influence in the matter by urging our council members to impose those taxes on us rather than to fight for Kauai’s fair share of the TAT and gas tax.

What happened to the gas tax money that we’ve been paying all these years? Where’s the vehicle registration fees that we’ve been paying all these years? That is the money that suppose to pay for new roads, and for maintaining our roads.

I suspect that those funds were used to replenish other funds that were stolen from to fund their salaries and benefit increases. Now we’re told they need to increase our GET and gas tax and fees to pay for roads. Imagine if they had to tell us that their reason for the increase was to fund their salary and benefit increases.

Apparently, many people on Kauai, and many of them voters, do not know that the people of Kauai are not receiving our fair share of the TAT and the gas taxes that we pay for at the pump. Here on Kauai, in addition to federal gas taxes, and state gas taxes, our county gas tax is $.17 for each gallon that you buy. Oahu pays $.165 per gallon; Maui pays $.16; and the big island pays $.088 per gallon. Anyone been on the Big Island lately? You notice how nice their roads are compared to ours.

The additional state gas tax for the state of Hawaii is $.487 per gallon. Second highest in the country. Only California is higher.

Until such time that our elected officials can provide proof and assurance that the people of Kauai are receiving their fair share of these funds, and that these funds are being properly and legally expended on highway improvements and repairs, with all due respect, I feel that this council does not have the right to impose any additional taxes on the people of this island. And thanks to the majority of our seven council members, all attempts to do so thus far have failed.

It is the responsibility and duty of those individuals voted into power, and that includes our four state legislators, this council, and the mayor, to provide proper and fair representation to those that elect them and to the entire population of Kauai and Niihau.

We elected each of you to do a job, and that job includes making sure that the taxes we all pay are properly and legally expended and distributed.

As far as I am concerned, our elected officials, except for a few of them, have failed to do exactly that and have failed to provide dedicated representation to the voters and the taxpayers.

To bring back a 250-year-old phrase, “Taxation Without Representation.”

Remember this when you vote this year. Remember which ones are really for the people of Kauai. Who is really “representing” us in the state Legislature?

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Larry Arruda is a resident of Kapaa

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