Proposed tax rates punative for hotels, vacation rentals

I went to the April 24 public hearing for 2019 tax rates. Many people spoke regarding the short-term rental and hotel rates. Some folks felt it was OK to burden them with a 66 percent raise in rates as the County Council requested instead the mayor’s more conservative approach.

The hotel industry provides jobs, community services and benefits to everyone on this island including the nonprofits. They allow us to share our aloha to the world. In addition to rates, assessments must be considered as they do change from year to year and that ups what one pays.

What became abundantly clear to me is that they are trying to kill the engine that fuels our economy. If the business cannot function because costs are prohibitive, we all lose. Wake up, you can’t kill the Golden Goose. Show restraint and aloha and we all win.

Donna P. Ting

Wailuku