Letters to the editor: 02-03-19

Mayor’s tax raise pattern clear

I was particularly moved by the statement from Chris Becker (WHT Jan. 26) saying he does not expect the exemption granted to hosted rentals to last. This reminded me of the national discourse where politicians say things like “if this is true then” — yadayadayada going on to portray how wicked this potential action would be if true.

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What they are really doing is positioning themselves as never having said such-and-such was true but certainly inciting those who only hear that part of the whole story. Then it occurred to me that Mr. Becker is not so far off the mark as we see our mayor asking the Legislature to allow the counties to use the additional GET for something other than originally intended, which was transportation and roadways.

This is the old bait-and-switch tactic he is becoming so blatantly known for and now having used the budget funds for transportation and roadways for other uses he is going after the GET that was to be used in that place. So, what happens to our transportation and road needs? Expect this to be the reason for yet further tax increases!

First, he ran on a platform to not raise property taxes, which he did and don’t use the volcano excuse because the genesis was before Madam Pele blew her top. Then it was an increase in motor vehicle fees (roads again?). Reminds me of his 25 percent across the board increase in real property taxes in his first term and Mayor Kenoi’s “temporary” 10 percent across the board increase in real property taxes due to the national economic situation that the County Council wrote into legislation to review after the first year — a review that was never done!

As a retired from Fortune 500 companies, I understood and complied during hard times when it was a directive to reduce department budgets 10 percent without comprising services. We never hear anything coming from our county leadership about ways to cut costs while maintaining services yet management raises are plentiful with no regard to individual merit and the continued waste is so visible!

So, Mr. Becker, while I may not subscribe to spreading FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) for one’s gain, I have to agree with you on the model we have in our elected to do just that, as they scare us into doing what they want under threat of increasing real property taxes to pay for their inability to lead and manage or as you fear, someday eliminate the hosted rental exemption.

Steve Lopez

Kailua-Kona

Privileged, or just smarter and harder working?

I am tired of hearing all this garbage about privileged people. Underneath the mantle of privilege is usually a lot of hard work, education, the sacrifice of something (time, one’s own desires, and, in some cases, one’s own mental or physical well-being) and the ability to get along with people.

Some people are just born to be privileged. They are more beautiful; more talented; have richer parents; a larger, smarter brain; the drive and desire to be whatever it is that they want to be, no matter what they have to do or whom they have to climb over in order to get it.

All people, whom I have known or seen or read about, have had crap and difficulties to deal with in order to get to the place that they wanted to be. Many have had to overcome the desires of those closest to them, for them to fail or not succeed to the height they desired.

There will be many less privileged people, in the coming years, with the advent of the iPhone and Facebook. Only the most beautiful, talented and the very smartest will be able to overcome spending all those years with their nose stuck in a device to see people like them, when they should have been reading or studying or learning how to communicate in real life.

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Sandra Gray

Kapaau