Circuit breaker qualifications need to be revisited

This letter is regarding the new circuit breaker qualifications implemented unanimously by the Maui County Council. I believe these additional qualifications are very short-sighted, especially against those homeowners who are retired.

There are three points on which I disagree with the council’s decision:

* Homeowner cannot own any other property. Some people use other property losses to lower their adjust gross for taxation. But, if people are not taking a loss on the other property, why are they disqualified? We are paying a much higher property tax rate for investment property (almost three times the homeowner rate). We are also paying the excise tax on the rental income (directly to the state). We are paying taxes in these two areas, why should owning property (not at a loss) be an issue?

* The total income of titleholders should be equal or less than $100,000. A retired homeowner whose income is derived from their rental property is disqualified. People are disqualified even if the total income from the rental property is less than $100,000. So this qualification discriminates on a person’s source of income. Even Social Security does not penalize people for rental income.

* Assessed building cost greater than $400,000. So based on today’s construction costs, a person cannot currently build anything larger than an ohana. But if the home was built more than 10 years ago, a person can have a mansion.

I believe these additional qualifications need to be revisited.

Beverly Rappley