Is the Maui County Council trying to kill business here?

The Maui News article on April 26 headlined “Testimony: Hotel tax rate hike ‘punitive’ “ outlined the Maui County Council’s plan to raise property taxes for short-term rentals to what amounts to 66 percent increase. What in the world are they thinking? Why would you raise any one group’s taxes by 66 percent in one year?

They also want to raise the hotel and resort tax 59 percent. Are they trying to kill business in Maui? The business of Maui is tourism. It provides jobs and income for all levels of workers and property owners as well as restaurants, retail shops and many other businesses.

All other classifications were kept the same or reduced. Clearly fairness is not a consideration. If council members think that all short-term rentals are owned by off-island investors, they should think again. Short-term vacation rentals often are owned by Maui citizens who are part of the “gig” economy. They are entrepreneurs who add a lot of value to our community. Don’t kill the goose that lays the golden eggs!

Karen Grafe