September 1992 Home   Newsletters

October 1992

November-December 1992

President's Message (Arlene Ellis)
Testimony before the Planning Commission 9/2/92 (Arlene Ellis)
League Recommendations on Proposed Charter Amendments
Statement on Policy and the Environment - 1 (Astrid Monson)
Statement on Policy and the Environment - 2 (Jean Aoki)
Statement on Policy and the Environment - 3 (Arlene Ellis)
Testimony on Bill 122, Excise Tax Surcharge (Arlene Ellis)
Testimony on Bill 122, Excise Tax Surcharge - 2 (Astrid Monson)
Rail Opponents Challenged to Find Alternatives (Astrid Monson)
Letters to the Editor - 1 (Arlene Ellis)
Letters to the Editor - 2 (Muriel R. Roberts)
Letters to the Editor - 3 (Katherine Kocel (P.K.A. Loew) & Susan MacKinnon)
Letters to the Editor - 4 (Barbara Farwell)

Statement before City Council on Policy and the Environment on Bill 122, ½% General Excise Tax Surcharge - 2

September 22, 1992

I have not testified before on transit, as other League members have given you the facts and figures and our reasons for opposing the current rail system.

What I am here for today is to express my personal outrage at the amount of misleading and -- indeed -- untruthful propaganda being disseminated to the public at taxpayer expense. It is bad enough to use our money to try to convince us that something the majority of us do not want is good for us. It is adding insult to injury to use that money to misrepresent the facts.

Those who have carefully studied the three Environmental Impact Statements published since 1990 are struck by the vast difference between what is said therein and what high city officials and their public relations staff say. Time permits only a few examples, and I will try to omit the technical data involved.

It is available to you now or, if you prefer, at a later time.

  1. The final EIS's financial Plan shows the GET surcharge raising $1.584 billion. Even if 1/3 of this is paid by tourists and non-residents -a rosy scenario, indeed -Oahu tax-payers would still be paying over $100 million a year, or $300 per average family. Yet City propaganda has convinced many citizens that it will cost them only the price of a can of soda pop a week.

  2. They have been told that the State will give them an income tax credit which will to a large extent cancel out the added tax they pay for transit. Yet they are not told that this credit will have to come out of tax funds they themselves will have to pay, or at the expense of health, schools, housing, welfare, and other needed services.

  3. The EIS's all state clearly that building rail will reduce automobile traffic by less than 1% over what an expanded and improved bus system would achieve, and that even in peak hours the reduction at key points would average only 6%. Yet thousands have been convinced that building rail will end traffic congestion and enable them, hopefully, to travel on uncrowded freeways while others take the train.

  4. The FEIS states that more than half the passengers will have to transfer from bus to rail or vice versa, with 14% transferring twice. Yet people have been promised a swift comfortable ride. Do they know that there will be three standees for every seat?

We are gratified that in spite of the barrage on TV, in the papers, and by mail, the polls show only a minority of people convinced. We hope that the same is true of this Council and that you will reject, and file, permanently, Bill 122 and its amendments.

Jean Aoki
Vice President

September 1992 Home   Newsletters November-December 1992