Letters for Tuesday, December 12, 2017

New tax not the answer to road woes

Six members of our council and the mayor, who the people elected to look after them, have voted to add an additional one half of 1 percent to our excise tax, a regressive tax that mostly hurts those who can less likely afford to pay it.

As resident Alice Parker said at the Dec. 6 council meeting before this tax bill, 2670, was passed, she, as a senior citizen only living on her retirement, cannot afford to pay more for food, medications and services needed, which this tax will affect. And thousand of other “Alice Parkers” are on Kauai and saying the same thing — no more new taxes.

Only Council Chair Mel Rapozo had the will, the desire and the concerns of the people to say “no” to this bill. He listened to those testifying against this bill and along with his studying it, wisely voted no. His closing testimony on why he voted no was brilliant, and why none of his colleagues didn’t follow his lead and change even one of their votes is a mystery, a mystery that might come back to haunt any one of them who will be running for re-election.

The purpose of this bill is to raise $25 million to pave our 300 miles of county roads that badly need repair. But let’s look at some facts.

We are taking in about $17 million a year from our fuel, vehicle weight, utility and registration fees, and spending about $1.2 million of it on resurfacing our roads. So where is the bulk of it going? Since we are subsidizing our bus system $8 million a year we are transferring $3 million of it to that operation to make them look better. And in fairness, the people running the buses are doing the best job they can, but more efficiency needs to happen.

And obviously many other projects are using these road funds for other purposes than resurfacing. And this has to stop.

The point is that, historically, tax funds or budget funds have not gone to projects that they were allocated for, so why should we presume that this new excise tax will go solely to our roads?

The easy way out for those in power is to just raise taxes and not delve into the waste that they have created. But more tax is not “easy” for the citizens, so where are the people like Mel who want to protect them? And, Mel, the people will not forget your efforts in your run for mayor.

Glenn Mickens, Kapaa

Kudos to Congress for tax bill

Congress is working to finish a new tax bill that reduces the corporate income tax from 35 percent to 20 percent. It is important to note that corporation income is taxed twice — once when it is reported and a second time when it is distributed to the owners as dividends.

Adding up the current 35 percent, plus the current top dividend tax rate of 23.8 percent, plus state income taxes on both sides, equals a total income tax of around 60 percent on corporate earnings. This new bill will lower the total to around 45 percent.

The U.S. currently has one of the highest corporate income tax rates in the world. With a current total rate of 60 percent, it is no wonder that corporations have parked trillions of dollars of income overseas. This has enriched other nations at our expense.

When the government gets too greedy, it loses revenue. Now that the total tax is dropping from 60 percent to 45 percent, we should see tax revenues rise over time. Multi-national U.S. corporations will surely report more of their income as U.S. income. Jobs will be created. Our economy will grow. Stock prices will rise for most corporations, generating more taxes. All these factors will improve our debt ratio (national debt divided by GDP).

This bill also reduces many corporate tax loopholes and includes new taxes to prevent corporations from parking their earnings overseas. Notice that the stock prices of many corporations went down after the Senate passed the bill. The market understands that these companies will lose tax loopholes.

Regarding new individual tax rates, everyone will get a much higher standard deduction. Some individuals will pay more as many deductions and loopholes are reduced, but the average person in every tax bracket will get a significant tax reduction over the next 10 years.

Mark Beeksma, Koloa

  1. Pete Antonson December 12, 2017 3:26 am Reply

    Mark’s Orange Clown in Chief will save a billion and a half for his family which makes them all able to also have a gold plated toilet! The family industry will, with their corporate cut, be able to hire more green carders like nearly the entire staff at Mar a Lago. Let’s all do the Trickle Down Myth dance in the street!

    1. RG DeSoto December 14, 2017 8:54 am Reply

      Love the smell of envy!
      RG DeSoto

      1. Pete Antonson December 14, 2017 1:48 pm Reply

        Smells like a hollow victory; don’t it?

  2. Lawaibob December 12, 2017 5:30 am Reply

    I find it ironic that Mark’s last name is Beeksma, because he sounds like a parrot. The tax bill is a scam, it won’t pay for itself, the math just isn’t possible. Give us an example of the “many corporations” whose stock the went down after the bill was passed

  3. Jake December 12, 2017 6:30 am Reply

    Well gee,….I can’t wait for the County Council to explain where all the money is going from fuel, vehicle weight, utility, and registration fees. And wait for it………..how about a break down of the last 20 years of tax income, amount spent on roads, and where the money ACTUALLY went. I’m sure it wasn’t wasted on our public bus subsidies.

    I’m sure there is some ridiculous law that requires ONLY Union work on the highways, with only Kauai Workers (living on Kauai)…….hence why nothing gets done. “Surf’s up….not going to work today”!

  4. manongindashadow December 12, 2017 12:26 pm Reply

    What a farce? Time will only tell if Mel get be the next mayor. His true color will appear as how much he cares!

  5. Trumps clown December 12, 2017 10:09 pm Reply

    This mark Beeksma character must be a rich ceo or just plain rich!! It has been demonstrated over and over that extra tax breaks go right into the ceos pockets and into stock buybacks. Fox News is not a reliable source of info on this tax plan mark. You writing this letter shows how out of touch you are. You are the first confirmed trump voter I have encountered on Kaua‘i. You must be lonely. I will be very surprised if TGI publishes this comment.

  6. Steve Martin December 12, 2017 11:36 pm Reply

    Jake… We don’t receive all the money and fees you speak of. All of the money is state not county. It’s like the TAT. The state takes all the money and then gives each island it’s share. If we could keep the amount of money that the island takes in we wouldn’t have any transportation problems and everyone who wants a home would be able to afford one. Oh yah and all of the schools would have air conditioning as well.

  7. behappy December 13, 2017 5:02 am Reply

    I agree Mark. As long as we keep corporate tax rates high, the less likely these companies are going to do business in the US. We need to bring companies home along with the jobs we have lost to other countries.
    Who cares if Trump’s companies are included and may benefit from the tax reduction? As a small business owner, it is a blessing. We now will have more money to pay our employees and improve our business instead of giving it to the government to waste. This tax bill has a lot to offer for more than businesses. The media does not highlight the benefits to the middle class and others who will be paying less tax.

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