Letters 1-18-14

What more will mayor ask of us?

After reading about outer island mayors seeking the ability to raise general excise tax an extra 1 percent at the county level and my Mayor Billy Kenoi stating he isn’t seeking a heigher GET (at this time — my words), but he will support the other mayors tells me he wants that power in his tool box for later use. Seems my mayor is going along to get along instead of looking out for the good people in Hawaii County.

The Legislature is spending — in a roundabout way — that transient accommodations tax that should come to the neighbor island counties for the Honolulu light rail boondoggle. Mister Mayor you also state that one-third of the GET would be from visitors in Hawaii County. Why did you not spin that and say two-thirds of the GET would be collected from the good folk who live and work on the Big Island almost every day. My suggestion is for you and the other neighbor island mayors to work way harder on these issues for the good of your constituents.

My property taxes are up, my vehicle weight taxes more than doubled and (not your fault) medical, dental and prescription drugs are up. What more will you ask of us?

Richard Beeson


Increasing minimum wage will hurt many

The minimum wage will again be introduced in this year’s state Legislature. Our legislators are worried that many young and undereducated employees are not paid a decent wage. They feel that the free enterprise system that made this country great is no longer valid and so they will make it right; it’s the pono thing to do.

But wait, the minimum wage increase is a two-edged blade. It may temporarily help a select group cope with the increased inflation that it causes but it will have a devastating effect on the poor, the unemployed and fixed-income seniors. Yes, your parents who worked hard and saved for retirement when wages were low; their savings and Social Security have not kept up with inflation either. How can both groups be helped to cope?

Legislators should let the free enterprise system work and expend their efforts in improving the business climate in this state. The more money businesses keep, the more they expand. When they expand, they compete for employees and the wages increase.

But for now, a vote for an increase in the minimum wage is a vote to decrease the standard of living for our kupuna.

Bob Green