Letter for Thursday, January 31, 2019

Politicians have to realize there is a limit to our funds

Apparently, our local and state politicians believe that we, the public, have an unlimited amount of money for them to tap. Last year, the council raised our excise tax by a half percent to pay for “transportation projects.”

Now, the state Legislature is proposing a 5 cent (30 percent) increase in our gasoline taxes (at 20 gallons a week this amounts to $365 a year in added taxes for the average user), increased registration fees and increasing the weight tax!

Their reasoning is that the advent of both hybrid and electric vehicles has reduced the income for the taxes on gasoline sales, yet these vehicles utilize the same roads.

Well, their logic makes sense, but their solution is flawed. Why make the rest of us pay more when others are reaping the benefits?

I suggest that they raise the registration on hybrid and electric vehicles to compensate for the lost taxes, and leave the rest of us alone. I own two vehicles, a Ford Escape for daily use and an F150 for green waste, trips to Home Depot, etc.

I can only drive one at a time, so I am not increasing the “road damage,” yet my combined registration fees are already over $500. For many Kauai residents, a pickup is their only vehicle, so they will pay an even heftier price in the long run. While an added $400 or $500 a year may not seem like much to our politicians, this can be a week’s wages for many residents!

Since the majority of the gas taxes and fees do not benefit Kauai, but are retained by the state, these extra costs will be borne by us, but not really benefit us with improved road conditions.

Since Kauai is expected to reap an additional $16 million from the excise taxes, enough is enough. Let’s see some results from this money before funding road repairs on Oahu!

A good start would be to FINALLY address the traffic issues in Kappa, as has been promised for the last 20 years.

Promises made to get elected seem to be forgotten the day after the election. Yet their hands continue to be in our pockets!

Barry Dittler, Wailua

  1. Charlie Chimknee January 31, 2019 6:24 am Reply

    Aloha Kakou,

    As to the kapa’a traffic issue, let’s not forget the solution of the100 vehicle EXPRESS CAR TRAIN transmitting Kapa’a from ABC Store in Kapa’a and over the Wailua River or all the way to Rice St. In LIHUE. Mahalo,


  2. gordon oswald January 31, 2019 8:57 am Reply

    Excellent points Barry! Thank you for your incite! Unfortunately, Government can easily turn into a parasite due to the circumstance of “Politicians” having control over “other people’s money”. Money they didn’t have to earn by themselves! The easiest thing to do in the world is to spend “other people’s money”!!! Especially when the people spending the money have never owned a business, been able to earn any money themselves because they’re incapable, or are just simply power mongering dolts; which seems to be the new and improved definition of a “Politician”.

  3. what a suprize January 31, 2019 9:40 am Reply

    As soon as these “influence peddlers” are in office, they propose a “stealth” tax: raising gas taxes and vehicle registration fees….and why? Well they are the easiest for the sheeple to accept without much backlash. Its the same old story: no matter who gets elected, they ALL collude to raise taxes, whether gas, fees or property: just wait to see how much is tacked on to your property tax bill in 2019. All governments: local state or federal have designs on your hard earned income, by any means necessary, whether its under the guise of “green” , glo-bull, even “medicare for all”. It’s the medical monster. Neither side will take it on, but both must. The clock is ticking on that and it won’t be long before that fiscal bomb goes off. CBO’s most-recent estimates, which are outrageously optimistic as usual, is claiming $13+ Trillion in red ink over the next 10 years; the true figure is likely closer to $20 trillion under current policies. Medicare for all won’t stop that, it will accelerate it. So will the other “Green New Deal” nonsense being contemplated; PG&E has pointed out in their bankruptcy filing that California’s recently-signed law mandating 100% renewable generation by 2025 means at least a doubling of residential electrical rates. Few people paid any attention to that, but there it is — and this is not speculation either. A town in Texas has already seen skyrocketing rates as a consequence of the same sort of insanity.
    Now, to be fair, Trump could have cut Health care costs in half or more, just by mandating that the “health care monopoly” use Medicare prices, which ARE negotiated, btw. And giving the industry 90 days to post ALL pricing, just as any other industry is mandated to do by law. There is 100 year old law and court presidence that the president could use, and …get this…since its law on the books, he would not need the 535 idiots to do or pass anything, since he is the head of the executive branch and that branch is tasked (among other things) to enforce current law ( someone should tell him that). It was a plank of his election platform, which…true fact…disappeared a day after he won the presidency, along with a few other huckster promises.
    So Federal employess, gird your grid for Shutdown v2, wherein Trump waist for T+1, and decides to start issuing layoff notices. He can and will do it, if he does not get funding for his wall, and McConnell is still the head of the senate. Why? Trump may be clueless, but he knows that unless he at least gets funding to “build that wall”, he has ZERO chance for a second term in 2020.
    But I digress, since we have our own gang of idiots to deal with here in the islands: dont lay down for this round of tax increases, as we laid down on Kauai for the .5% increase in sales tax, which politicians have spent twice over, without collecting anything substantial in the coffers yet. And, nope it is NOT “earmarked” , since that is blatantly illegal> Just goes into the general fund, to be spent for …oh…say shoring unfunded or underfunded pension funds for local and state public employees, maybe? In a year or two or three, you will still be running over the same potholes in the same streets…it will just cost you more to have that privilege.

  4. Jake January 31, 2019 11:41 am Reply

    It really is borderline comical….

    Because our county decision makers, county leaders, council members, and mayor (and his personally selected staff) have their positions based on popularity, vice credentials, real work experience, and advanced education, ……is it any wonder why nothing gets done??

    If the County Government can’t fix the roads, then the answer, surely much be “We need more money”! God forbid you exercise any critical thinking or out-of-the box mitigation policies. Yes, we need to hire born-and-raised on Kauai to solve our problems. So far it has been working great.

    So, we are going to get our extra $16 million a year …..one more time, EXTRA….on top of our regular amount for da roads. Do you think the Unions will allow more workers on the island to get anything done? Ah, no. The money will pile up, and the same guys you see on the side of the road doing nothing will continue to enjoy their lifetime jobs courtesy of the County.

    Surely the County had a plan in place to spend all this extra money BEFORE the GET increase.

    What is the latest completion date for the little bridge in Hanapepe? What is going to be the final tab for that one??

    1. I saw a Vampire once January 31, 2019 10:21 pm Reply

      They actually care about that bridge. Why would the engineers pay the politicians? Slow in school. There is no pay. So they’re taking their time building it. No funds.

  5. Dick Andersen February 1, 2019 5:18 am Reply

    Regarding the potential gas tax increase, I believe a tax .05 cents per gallon on 20 gallons purchased per week for a year (.05 x 20 x 52) totals $52, not $350.

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