February 1990 Home   Newsletters

March 1990

April 1990

Annual Meeting 1990
President's Message (Arlene Ellis)
Neighborhood Board Commission (Mildred Walston)
LWV Presents (Dee Lum)
Shoreline Setbacks (Astrid Monson)

President's Message

League spent another "fun-filled" month going from the State Capitol to City Hall (sometimes with only minutes to spare) testifying before both Houses of the Legislature and at Council Committee meetings as well as Council Public Hearings. We also veered off course one afternoon to testify before the City Planning Commission.

The four issues that necessitated our attention were 1) restoring initiative for land use at the County level, 2) opposition to the excise tax increase, 3) opposing the increased height and density as well as the reduction of street setbacks of the development at Alakea-Hotel-Richards Streets, and 4) supporting deeper shoreline setbacks to protect eroding and unstable shorelines on Oahu.

Our efforts to get legislative support for County initiative involved not only lobbying key legislators, but spending innumerable hours at both the Senate and House waiting to give our testimony. We hand-delivered letters to the Governor and all the legislators seeking their support. Unfortunately at this point in time, it appears that we lost the battle.

Our opposition to the increase in the excise tax was another uphill struggle. The tax increase was also opposed by the Tax Foundation, the National Federation of Independent Businesses and Small Business, Hawaii. Our opposition was not based on the pro/con of rail transit or its feasibility in Honolulu, but rather on one of tax policy; based on League's National policy of supporting "an equitable tax system that is progressive overall", and under further guidelines "In evaluating specific tax preferences, the League will use the following criteria: whether the tax preference promotes equity and progressivity." This is further supported by our local League position that "In the event that additional revenues are required the people's ability to pay should be taken into account."

On League's channel 20 program this month, Mark Henry, a member of the State's Tax Review Commission stated "the excise tax imposes a larger and disproportionate burden on lower income tax payers than do other forms of taxes." Referring to the excise tax increase he stated, "this proposal would mean increasing an already regressive tax." These bills are currently pending in both houses.

We lost again on the Alakea-Hotel-Richards Street development as all of you mass transit users can see by the leveling of the parking structure, removal of the bus stop and particularly the loss of the three large monkey pod trees that once graced that small triangular park on Hotel street. We have tried for years to keep the area in the Historic precinct of the Special Capitol District with height limitations of 65 feet, to no avail.

The shoreline setback bill is in Committee and still alive.

Arlene Ellis

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