Letter for Monday, January 20, 2020

In opposition to Matson rate increase

Aloha Governor;

You are proposing to raise the budget again.

I have been a resident of Oahu 20 years and Kauai 20 years.

As a small business owner with 12 employees, I managed 3 budgets every year.

2 for business and my personal budget.

I am stunned that even though we are nearly the highest taxed state in the country, and for the past 5 years we have been losing record numbers of local families and our workforce.

Surely you can see your constituents suffering, especially on the neighbor islands.

Matson is proposing and 34% increase in shipping.

That is going to slam the breaks on literally every citizen and business in the state.

Even the thousands of Matson employees in the state.

Priming the pump of government spending is what has gotten the state of Hawaii in this mess.

Hawaii’s government size, reach and spending increases every year despite what is happening in the economy.

A business cannot spend more when revenues are down.

In the private sector, if you overspend your budget that more than 2 years, you are fired or your company goes under.

The simplest act of revisiting the Jones Act, will have the largest impact on the state economically.

Literally everything we buy and consume is shipped here.

The Neighbor Islands pay even higher shipping than Oahu.

One of the largest opponents of revising the Jones Act is Matson.

Of course, how else can you ask the commission for a 34% increase?


M. Martin, Poipu

  1. Dt January 20, 2020 5:56 am Reply

    Proper vetting should be done, but potentially repealing the Jones act could significantly decrease the cost of living on the islands.

  2. Jake January 20, 2020 6:09 am Reply

    Correct!! The Jones Act costs Hawaii citizens billions each year in increased costs of living.

    We are being extorted by the Government and shipping companies. As stated, Hawaii produces nothing, which requires EVERYTHING to be shipped to the islands.

    If you own or run a shipping company to Hawaii or other US territories, then you have free reign to increase shipping costs due to a 100 year old, worthless, federal law.

  3. Jjjames January 20, 2020 6:55 am Reply

    And don’t forget … what happened to Matson’s huge 40% savings on their federal taxes that president Trump and the REPUBLICANS gave them last year.??

  4. paulo t January 20, 2020 8:28 am Reply

    It’s Young Bros, not Matson.

    1. Jjjames. January 20, 2020 7:54 pm Reply

      It’s BOTH. And every other large business in the country. They ALL got the 40% decrease.

  5. tunataxi January 20, 2020 8:37 am Reply

    Why do people insist on saying Hawaii is the most taxed state in America ?? It simply isnʻt true.. do some research if you intend to respond to my comment.

    1. Joe Kent January 20, 2020 11:07 pm Reply

      The American Legislative Exchange Council ranked Hawaii last among all states for its “sales tax” burden. ALEC also ranked Hawaii’s estate tax as last in the nation. Hawaii also has the second highest marginal income tax bracket. A study from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy criticized Hawaii for its regressive taxation practices, ranking it the 15th unfairest tax system in the country. Hawaii’s heavy reliance on the excise tax as a source of revenue was criticized, as the excise tax is hardest on those least able to afford it. According to ITEP, sales and excise taxes take up an average of 10.5 percent of family income for the poorest 20 percent of earners.

  6. MisterM January 20, 2020 8:43 am Reply

    34% increase is scandalous. And we have to wonder why? Fuel costs have been stable – there is a temporary spike as new cleanfuel regulations come into effect but that will decline as new supplies hit the market after an initial transition. Interest rates have declined. Labor rates are fractionally higher. At most I could see a few percent increase plus a temporary fuel surcharge that would die once fuel prices stabilized. Of course, what’s really needed is the repeal of the anti-competitive Jones Act.

  7. douglas henry January 20, 2020 9:42 am Reply

    with no Jones Act there would be no United States Merchant Marine.

    1. manawai January 20, 2020 4:00 pm Reply

      A very small merchant marine. So should the million+ of us in Hawaii be held as financial slaves to a handful of well-paid deckhands? Wow! Sounds fair to me!!! Next, let’s unionize unemployment!!

    2. so wut January 20, 2020 7:06 pm Reply

      who cares about that anymore

    3. Joe Kent January 23, 2020 3:48 pm Reply

      One solution is to reform the Jones Act with a ship-build exemption. That would allow merchant mariners to use ships built overseas, and save on costs.

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