Home values would plunge with the shutdown of cane

Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. is the most efficient sugar operation in the world today, as measured by yield per acre. The plantation, however, loses money on every single shipment of raw sugar for refining on the Mainland.

Sure – as suggested by the crowd that couldn’t bother to evaluate the environment before moving to a plantation town – the plantation could stay in business at half that efficiency (my rough estimate of the effect of green-chop versus burnt-cane refining). Actually, it cannot.

I’m tired of trying to explain. To those of you whose asset base (the value of your South Maui home) will be destroyed by the shutdown, I say: Keep on urging your council members to shut down the mill. Why wait years? Do it now. The council doesn’t have to outlaw burning either, it only has to insist on fair valuation for tax purposes (as set forth by Mike White) of the acreage held for future development.

I own no property on Maui. I will be among those who stand to benefit most by the demise of HC&S. I liked Maui much better when lots were $5,000, as they will be valued when the plantation acreage is dumped on the market all at once.

And there’s another bonus. It will be cheaper to give the homeless their own lots than build shelters.

Theo M. Wender