Why should .5 tax hike cost more to collect?
It is hard to imagine how there would be any extra cost involved in collecting the 0.5 percent transit tax added to the state's general excise tax. The amount of work for the state in collecting the 4.5 percent tax is exactly the same as in collecting the present 4 percent tax. Then each month or so, the state transfers one-ninth of this amount to the city. The law passed by the Legislature gives the state 10 percent of the transit surcharge for "administrative costs." What administrative costs? There are none.
This seems crazy, but it is not as crazy as Governor Lingle's position that would have required the city to set up separate machinery of its own to collect the 0.5 percent surcharge. That would significantly reduce the take from the tax. Now, that's crazy!
N. Shore traffic will flow the other way
Rick John drew an erroneous conclusion (Letters, March 11) from my comment that new jobs at Kuilima will not add to the North Shore's commuter "traffic problem."
With up to 3,000 new jobs available at our development, we have to anticipate that most will be filled by North Shore and Windward residents, many of whom now commute 45 minutes or more each way to and from their current jobs.
Instead of driving toward town in the morning, they'll be heading in the opposite direction toward Turtle Bay. In the afternoon, they once again will be driving against the commuter flow.
It therefore is reasonable to conclude that the Kuilima development will not increase commuter traffic heading into town. Many new employees will trade a commute lasting an hour or more for one that takes only 15 to 20 minutes -- or less.
Kuilima Resort Co.
Self-serving words follow Kauai disaster
I was appalled to read James Pflueger's reaction to the Kauai tragedy ("Pflueger had started work on dam that broke," Star-Bulletin, March 15). It's clear that his main concern is covering his back -- not expressing concern for the innocent victims.
Notice how his words are chosen carefully to get him off the hook: "unpredictable natural disaster," "extreme weather," "partially on property we own." Translation: "Purely a coincidence that this happened in the very area that I clear-cut without permission. For 10 years." Maybe it is. But that's a big coincidence.
He isn't satisfied saying this once. He says it again, using words like "century-old reservoir." Translation: "It was gonna break anyway."
This isn't the time to form a witch-hunt, but the state must investigate the causes without interference or legal delays.
Unlike Mr. Pflueger, I offer my deepest sympathy and condolences to all the families, without conditions, spin or legal speak.
Safety-check fines could fill potholes
Is it my imagination or are there a lot of cars on the road with expired safety-check stickers? There are several benefits to seriously enforcing this law:
» Increase city revenue. How much could the city take in if every violator was fined? The money collected could fill a lot of potholes.
» Get uninsured cars off the road. If the owners cannot get insurance, their cars should be impounded. This could reduce some of our traffic problems. Do we really know how many uninsured cars are on the road?
» Reduce stress. Those who faithfully renew their stickers every year should be furious at those who casually drive around with their expired stickers, some more than a year delinquent. Just imagine being in an accident with an uninsured motorist.
Like the "pothole" hotline, can a "safety check" hotline be created?