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Let’s not allow Maui to become Miami Beach

When I started reading Mayor Victorino’s column Saturday regarding overtourism on Maui, I thought it was written by someone who really understood the issue.

After reading on, I realized he did understand, but felt there were no solutions from the government side to help deal with the problem.

I respectfully disagree. We can and must do something now if we want to hang on to our Maui lifestyle.

There are ways to change the endless growth trajectory on Maui. For example, we could put a stop to illegal vacation rentals. We could structure our tax system so that new, out-of-state homebuyers pay some type of fee to help pay for the infrastructure they will use, but never paid to build.

We could and should add a higher tax on car rentals because they use our roads, and again, never paid to build them.

The mayor was right when he said the pandemic gave us a chance to relive a time before industrial-sized tourism came to Maui, and that many residents concluded that an ever-increasing number of tourists isn’t wanted.

Our elected officials are the ones who must come up with the solutions, but we as citizens need to talk to them and give them our ideas. For the sake of our grandchildren, let’s not stay silent and let Maui become a new Miami Beach.

James Padgett

Pukalani

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