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Increased property taxes?

July 14, 2011
Maui Weekly

Don’t hit the legitimate homeowner with guilt that they receive $6,600 in county services, yet contribute $578 through property taxes. Many can barely pay $150. Many cannot handle an increase of $250 per year if the home exemption is reduced.

Why is there a lack of balanced coverage from The Maui News? Two articles since the June 13 budget meeting omitted the Committee for More Equitable Taxation’s (COMET) and citizens’ testimony. Why?

Comments by certain council members were disappointing. Regarding perspectives to the general fund, Councilmember Mike White said the county has never asked much from the homeowner’s class. “This is reflected in the fact that not many people are here today.” Mr. White, consider factors. Meetings are held during working hours. Gas prices prevent residents from attending. Lack of attendance could reflect lack of confidence.

Councilman Riki Hokama stated said he understands the history of this exemption. Those of us who have been working on it for many years understand how to isolate a component within a proposal. We know how it fits into the bigger picture and into our brain. “Many people out there,” he said as he nodded his head toward those of us who testified, “don’t have the understanding or information.” How condescending. COMET has understood and provided information for 23 years. If Mr. Hokama feels he has an understanding, why is the system not fixed?

Paula Newell



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