Raises for mayor, council members are supported

I support the salary increases for the mayor and the County Council members recommended by the volunteer citizens of the Salary Commission. These salaries are still notably less than professionals working in the private sector receive for a similar level of responsibility.

Maui is most fortunate that our mayor and the members of our County Council are individuals of the highest integrity and ethics who do their best to serve the people of Maui. If you pay attention to the statewide news, you can see that some members of the other islands’ councils have not displayed similar integrity. Perhaps an appropriate salary helps Maui attract better candidates than other islands.

From parks, to police and fire protection, to waste management and road maintenance, Maui County government provides a broad range of services benefiting all Maui residents. Yet the real property taxes paid by Maui homeowners contribute less than 4 percent of the total cost of providing these services. Most of the county revenues come from fees and taxes paid by hotels, time shares, businesses and nonresidents.

The average Maui homeowner paid $721 in real property tax last year, and this was less than it was in 2002. Maui County homeowners receive a tenfold bang for their buck in county services received for the real property taxes paid. But these many facts seem to be lost on some letter writers who have expressed complaints about the proposed salary increases and the manini tax bills they are asked to pay.

Thomas Croly