Grass Shacks, Coconut Wireless and More Taxes

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BY FRANCES NUAR – It might be old, peaceful Hawaii nei all over again. Time again for days when a perfect day was walking out your door to catch some surf, coming back in to grind on some ono food, and talking story for hours with friends and neighbors. Sounds like the life to me.


Times have moved on though, our world is a bit more complicated and jobs and bills seem to get in the way of the simple life. Yet apparently our legislators want us to go back to those peaceful times not by choice, but by reaching deep into our pockets until we have nothing left. After only a few short weeks in office, Governor Neil Abercrombie proposed raising taxes on alcohol and soda, pensions, timeshare owners, and now vehicle taxes, which “have already jumped substantially in recent years.”

Gas prices in Hawaii are some of the highest in the nation, currently about $0.60 more than the national average, yet the costs of driving are only increasing.

As the Hawaii Reporter reports: “Under two measures that were passed today by the state Senate Transportation and International Affairs Committee, the state would double the vehicle weight tax and impose an 80 per cent increase in the annual motor vehicle registration fee.”

The new taxes would be used to fund highway maintenance. Conveniently overlooked in the discussion was the fate of previous “highway funds” which were raided and diverted along with numerous other special funds into the general fund to support our ever-expanding government.

Is this a ploy from legislators to decrease traffic on our ever congested roadways? A message that only the wealthy need drive? I’m not sure what message Governor Abercrombie is looking to give us, but what I read is that the government still hasn’t gotten the memo to conserve resources and spend efficiently–and it’s about time it did.