Editor’s Scratchpad

Friday, December 14, 2001

Rental-car fee
is a foul idea

The proposal of Maui Mayor James Apana's that the counties be permitted to add a $5-a-day tax to the cost of a rental car is among the less appealing ideas to come down the pike in some time.

When the bottom of the slide in tourism may have been reached and when the state government and the tourist industry are all but begging potential visitors from the mainland and Asia to come here, sticking them with an additional cost of their stay is really not a bright idea.

The mayor's plea echoes a repeated refrain in Hawaii, which is that whenever the government or a special interest needs money, they look first to the tourists as a target. Perhaps the mayor and others with similar proposals should go back to school and read the fairy tale about the goose that laid the golden egg.

--Richard Halloran

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