An article at HawaiiReporter’s website outlines a Honolulu City Charter proposal that would mandate a certain percentage of property taxes be dedicated to “the acquisition or preservation of watersheds, drinking water sources, beaches, coastal areas and other natural, cultural and historical sites.” According to the article’s author Lowell Kalapa of the Tax Foundation of Hawaii, this proposed requirement will guarantee regular increases to Honolulu’s already high property taxes that people have been complaining about for several years.
Kalapa also states “backers of the amendment obviously did not think the issue of preservation of natural resources could persuade enough voters to adopt the provision and therefore earmarked an equal amount to provide and maintain affordable housing for low-income families. The provision, to be considered by the Honolulu voters, will earmark one percent of real property tax collections for these purposes with the windfall to be divided equally between natural resource preservation and affordable housing.”
Why should our money be earmarked for such purposes? Kalapa says this kind of funding is “poor public policy” as it “”restricts budget flexibility, creates inefficiencies and lessens accountability.”
Read the article. If you are concerned about this charter amendment proposal taking away more of your hard earned money, be sure to vote this amendment down.
Remember we are already paying some of the highest taxes in the State of Hawaii. Next year the General Excise Tax increases another 12.5% (thanks Governor Lingle) to pay for rail, the container redemption tax is slated to go up later this year and the state has a budget surplus that should be returned to the taxpayers. We cannot continue down this long and spiraling road of more tax increases to save property that is not ours or build homes that we won’t live in.