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November 2008

February 2009

Fight to Uphold a Sense of Community (Elizabeth Reilly)
December Planning Meeting
Lawyers Honor Jean Aoki
Mikulina Accepts Monson Award... and Plays it Forward (Elizabeth Reilly)
Will Real Estate Taxes Go Up? (Charles Carole)
Welcome New Members
Calendar of Events

Will Real Estate Taxes Go Up?

Our future starts with the national economic slowdown and the effect of the Federal bailout of hundreds of billions of dollars on the economy, which will cause inflation in our state economy.

Next down the line, the Hawaii State economy is experiencing an economic decline. The State has been requiring all its departments to cut back on their services.

After the State comes the City and County of Honolulu. The City's two main sources of revenue are the real estate tax and the surcharge on the excise tax. Since tourism has been falling this fiscal year and will not recover for the next few years, the City will have to raise the real estate tax to cover the shortfall of the excise tax surcharge for the rail. The mayor wants the rail project to begin in 2009 or 2010 and end in 2018. Oahu residents will be facing high inflation, an uneven economy and higher taxes.

There is also the problem of housing on Oahu. The City Council is considering a Bed-and-breakfast (B & B) proposal which will reduce the number of housing units for Oahu residents and increase the cost for rentals. Also, B & B's and tourist vacation rentals will hurt the hotel industry and the employment of Oahu workers. Oahu also has problems with trash, traffic, sewers and roads. Rail will not solve the traffic problem, but might make it worse by using funding from the general budget to pay for the construction and maintenance of rail.

For the past 8 years from 2000 to 2007, the U.S. Bureau of the Census has been making estimates of Oahu population which has been lower than the projections of the State Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism (DBEDT). In 2010, DBEDT projects a population of 952,000 while with Census estimates we will have about 912,000. We might have very slow growth of population because of high cost of living and fewer employment opportunities.

UH Professor Jim Dator, a futurist, has talked about a scenario in which Oahu might be a pleasant backwater in the future. He will address our planning meeting on December 6.

Charles Carole

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