Letters 2-12-13


Minimum wage

Help residents by changing excise tax

I hope Gov. Neil Abercrombie realizes his proposal to hike the minimum wage is not the ideal way to help low income earners. Hawaii currently has one of the most regressive tax structures in the country. The lowest income earners bear a hugely disproportionate burden of state taxes. Now, the governor and his legislative supporters, propose to extract more income taxes from them by hiking the minimum wage.

Currently, Hawaii is one of only a few states in the nation that gives nearly no break in sales or excise taxes on groceries. The only exception is the absence of excise tax on groceries purchased on EBT or food stamps. Elimination of the excise tax on groceries makes a lot more sense than raising the minimum wage.

Elimination of the state excise tax on rent would bring those at the lower economic end more on par with ones who are able to deduct interest on mortgage payments. Nearly every tax credit in existence in Hawaii is a scam to benefit the wealthy. Others may benefit from the credits but the intended recipients are oftentimes the politically connected.

John Totten

Kailua-Kona

State Legislature

Easier to get pot, harder to get soda?

I really have to wonder what is going on in our state capital. We have House Bill 699, which looks to legalize marijuana, and we have Senate Bill 1085, which looks to add a tax to sugary soft drinks.

So let me get this straight, lawmakers want to make it harder to get soft drinks and easier to get marijuana? What else can we expect from a group of politicians who passed an unenforceable law that makes smoking on public beaches illegal?

Shawn Lathrop

Waikoloa