TAX ASSESSED ON REVENUE, NOT NET
As the owner of a very small business, I oppose any GET tax increase. People don't realize that the tax is paid on gross income, not net.
Last year, I had a net loss. I did not receive any salary from this business, as my expenses for advertising, inventory, supplies, etc. exceeded my revenue. Nonetheless, I still had to pay GET tax on the revenue. This adds insult to injury.
If any taxes must be raised, it should be income taxes. This way the burden is evenly distributed among the entire population. I wonder how many of the people who were rallying to raise the GET would rally to have their own taxes increased?
makana risser chaif | Kailua
HB 444 IS ABOUT RIGHTS, NOT MARRIAGE
The legalization of gay marriage in Washington, D.C., makes me feel both happy and sad. I am happy that some of my friends can become legally married in D.C.
Being a heterosexual, I didn't face any obstacles to my marriage. Three days after moving back to Hawai'i, I filed the paperwork and a justice of the peace performed the ceremony.
My husband and I got married because we loved each other. But marriage also gave me rights as a military dependent. I was given full medical coverage the next day and we were able to file for base housing.
I am saddened that my gay friends cannot do what I did so easily. HB 444 is not same-sex marriage. It's about justice for all. Why is this so hard to comprehend?
I've always felt proud of Hawai'i and its culture of acceptance. States that are far less liberal than we are have passed same-sex marriage laws, and we can't even vote on HB 444?
I hope more people will urge their legislators to vote on HB 444. We owe it to ourselves as a matter of integrity and to the gay members of this community as a matter of justice.
kerry welch | Honolulu
LETTER MADE CLAIMS THAT WERE WRONG
While we appreciate Chuck Beneke's concerns about solid waste disposal, (Letters, March 24) his letter made several erroneous claims.
It's not true the city's H-Power waste-to-energy plant "has been operating at reduced capacity" to "meet our raw trash commitment to the landfill at Waimänalo Gulch."
H-Power is not operating at a reduced capacity, and is accepting all combustible residential waste on a daily basis. The city's contract with Waimänalo Gulch's operator doesn't require a minimum daily or annual tonnage be deposited.
About 60 percent of O'ahu's solid waste is currently diverted from Waimänalo Gulch, and this will increase to nearly 80 percent when the ongoing H-Power expansion and other initiatives are completed.
Beneke also noted that "no trash has left O'ahu for Mainland burial," and implicitly blamed several political leaders.
The truth is the company that submitted the winning bid has not secured all necessary permits.
We invite Beneke to learn more about how solid waste is managed on O'ahu.
markus owens | Public communications officer, City andCounty of Honolulu, Dept. of Environmental Services
STATE TOOK LONG TIME TO DEPOSIT TAX CHECK
As a Department of Defense finance officer and comptroller for 30 years, I learned that the expedient processing of receipts of funds is key to the effective management of cash flow and preservation of an organization's ability to make timely payments.
Given the state's many financial woes this year, I took note of how quickly my recent tax return checks were processed by the Hawai'i state tax collector in comparison to the IRS. The results were not encouraging.
On Feb. 6 and 7, I completed my federal and Hawai'i state tax returns and mailed my checks for the respective taxes due on Feb. 8, using the envelopes provided for tax returns with taxes due.
The check to the IRS cleared my bank on Feb. 17, but the check mailed with my state tax return did not clear until March 17. Why did it take the Hawai'i state tax collector (located on the same island) four times longer to deposit a check than an IRS service center in California?
I think this may be another aspect of the Lingle administration that state Auditor Marion Higa needs to examine.
Col. Mark Brown, retired | Käne'ohe
USE OF OLD RAILWAY LINE WILL BE COSTLY
These comments address the use of the old, existing Oahu Railway and Land Co. railroad right-of-way from Kapolei to the stadium, as proposed by Keoni Dudley ("As planned, rail will kill Waipahu," March 4).
The right-of-way from Nänäkuli to about 100 yards east of Fort Weaver Road is on the National Register of Historic Places, which precludes its use for a rail system without first removing it from the register, a lengthy and potentially costly process.
The portion of the old right of way between Fort WeaverRoad and Pearl City is criss-crossed with buried pipelines from Campbell Industrial Park, all the way to Pearl Harbor and on into Honolulu Harbor.
Between Pearl City and the stadium, much of the old right-of-way has been converted to a bicycle path and its 40-foot width has been reduced to between eight and 10 feet by encroachment of surrounding properties.
Once reaching the stadium/CINPACFLT boathouse, the right-of-way is obstructed by highway overpasses and other development, not to mention that the original path of the railroad was through the submarine base, not around it.
Use of the old OR&Lright-of-way, which last saw a train in December 1947, may appear an easy solution to a number of problems. However, the development which has occurred over the last 63 years precludes its use.
Robert Yatchmenoff | Honolulu
U.S. MILITARY A GREAT PLACE TO LEARN SKILLS
The biggest — and I think the best — vocational school in the world is the United States military.
Nobody gets out of the service without some work skill that can be used in civilian life. You get paid while you learn, plus free medical and dental.
Join — but get that high school diploma first because the military doesn't take everyone.
Employers like ex-military — they know how to get to work on time, dress accordingly and know the value of work.
They also make great spouses since they know how to take orders!
duke matzen | Waikíkí