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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
Source: The Garden Island

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