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Letters for Thursday, April 25, 2019

Illegal rentals drive up housing costs

There is a sharp increase in illegal vacation rentals in quiet residential neighborhoods. And lawmakers are eagerly creating bills to collect tax revenue from unpermitted, illegal vacation rentals.

I’m relieved to hear that the increase in homeless people is due to better records. But I am heartbroken for all the affordable rentals converting to more-profitable, unpermitted, illegal vacation rentals in our neighborhoods.

Makes me wonder if the Airbnb legislation, if passed, still means they are unpermitted and illegal vacation rentals.

M. Martin, Lihue

Support Senate Bill 1374 – ‘Hawaii Saves’

About 216,000 Hawaii workers can’t save for retirement out of their regular paychecks, even though having access to payroll deduction makes people 15 times more likely to save. Senate Bill 1374, the “Hawaii Saves” bill, can fix that.

Hawaii Saves provides an easy way for workers to save out of their regular paycheck and helps them grow the savings they need to take control of their future. The program would be available to workers who don’t currently have a plan through their job — and runs like a 529 college savings plan.

If a Hawaii Saves program is established it’s estimated Hawaii taxpayers could save $32.7 million in the program’s first 15 years because of reduced social services spending.

In Oregon, where a similar program is underway, more than 74,000 workers — many of them first-time savers — are participating. Assets are above $16 million and growing.

We need to help Hawaii workers grow their retirement savings so they can live independently as they age. It’s time for Hawaii lawmakers to pass Senate Bill 1374, the Hawaii Saves bill, and give employees of all ages the opportunity to grow their savings and take control of their future.

John A. Sperandeo, Wailua
Source: The Garden Island

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