(Civil Beat Q & A) As the economy struggles, the county may have to cut expenses and seek new revenue sources. What would you cut? And what is an area where you see potential new revenue?
Kauai is resilient. We have survived hurricanes, recession, floods, and now a pandemic. I have no doubt that we will get through this as well. Kauai’s budget is 80% property tax, 20% tourist tax. We have a rainy day fund thanks to our past administration’s forethought; and we have received $28 million in CARES Act monies. In addition, many of us have re-engineered our business to accommodate our local clientele. We will survive this and come out with a new island philosophy and outlook.
• Tax companies that bring in packaging that is non-recyclable. We need to make these operations responsible for the waste they bring to our island.
• Tax rental car companies for every car they bring on island that clog our roads and ruin our air; 8,000 to 10,000 cars daily is too much for Kauai.
• Tax any non-residentially-owned business and investment properties to supplement costs for affordable housing, infrastructure and mental health and drug rehab facilities. If you want to buy a piece of Kauai and not live here, you should pay for it.