Vote no on tax question
Thank you for your article about the property tax surcharge question that will be on our voting ballot. No one debates how important it is to support local youth and improve public education in Hawaii.
However, this question related to tax and education as presented on the ballot is too vague and would leave the details undefined. Voters should consider only the facts and not fantasize about “intent” or “aim.” The question says “investment real property” which means not a primary residence where the owner lives.
This could be any property: a warehouse, restaurant, shopping center or office building, hotel, piece of land, and also a residence that is rented out on a short-term or long-term basis. It does not specify any minimum value limit of the property. It does not define type of owner, which could be a company, a trust, a family who has owned the property for many generations, a non-profit, a retiree or military veteran.
The language does not differentiate between residents of Hawaii and non-residents. Investors don’t absorb property taxes, they pass them on to tenants. If the tenant is a business, the local customer pays more. If the tenant is a Hawaii citizen, perhaps someone on a fixed income, their rent would increase. The question never clearly reveals how or where the unknown amount of funds raised would be used.
Because this would be a constitutional amendment (if approved) it would never expire. It would leave the details of the tax completely undefined, to be addressed (possibly repeatedly) through the state’s legislative process and everything unknown which often goes with such method. This is a dangerous idea. I urge you to join me in voting no on this ballot question.
Sam Pratt, Lihue
Trump not fit to run country
I feel I need to respond to Ms. Sheffield’s letter claiming TGI bias toward her poor, maligned president (TGI Forum, Sept. 18). It seems if anyone says anything bad about him, they obviously are sore losers because they lost the election – two freaking years ago! Really? I’m sorry ma’am, but you are obviously drinking the Trump Koolaid. How silly and shallow to think our animus toward Trump is just sour grapes because ‘we’ lost the election. Can someone with an obvious modicum of intelligence really believe I’m moaning two years after the fact?
I have voted both Democrat and Republican in my 68 years, mostly Republican. But I very hesitantly voted for Clinton JUST to keep a man like Trump from running – or more like ruining – our country. We have a proven liar, misogynist, deeply prejudiced, not-too-bright maniac in charge, and I have never been embarrassed to be an American before, but with Trump, now I am.
As long as he spouts his silly lies (proven many, MANY times over), and continues to treat our best and finest with disdain and malice, debases the fine news organizations that only speak the truth, he is not fit to run this country. I never thought I would see such an injustice thrust upon the U.S., but tons of lies and the “perfect” political storm got him elected – though he lost the overall vote. And the only thing that keeps me from pure despair is the fact that soon we will get to see him taken down to where he belongs, preferably a jail cell with his newly convicted cronies. Right WILL prevail. It has to.
Susan Straight, Waimea