Property tax code allows laundry list of abuses

After reading about our mayor’s veto of the change in the “circuit breaker” in our property tax program (The Maui News, April 21) and the subsequent opinion column by Council Chair Gladys Baisa (“Chair’s 3 Minutes,” April 21), I want to make an observation and recommendation to the property owners and voters of our wonderful county.

The tax code as it is allows for a laundry list of abuses. It gives politicians a “social engineering tool” to re-evaluate property worth and thereby force the sale of said lands to other entities, who may or may not be deep-pocketed constituents of said politician.

It also nudges otherwise law-abiding citizens into falsification of assets associated with their estates to keep from ruinous tax rates. Potential abuses in the establishment of fair market value are abundant.

How about this: You cannot be taxed at a higher rate than you paid for your property. Period. If aunty paid $250,000 for her house in 1950, the politicians can’t tell her it’s worth $5 million and kick her out.

She pays on her original investment. It takes inflation out of the equation also. Then when she decides to sell for $5 million, the new buyer pays the higher rate. Of course the political entities aren’t going to like it – where are they going to get all that extra money to vote themselves big pay raises?

John Dupuis