House Bill 903 seeks to impose another expense on owners of properties served by individual wastewater systems.
The bill is unnecessary and unwise. The function of the bill is to add another revenue stream to the Department of Health so it can monitor discharges that may harm the ocean and coral reefs.
Many Maui and Hawaii island residents live in districts high on the side of mountains, miles from the ocean.
There is no way that a septic system servicing a private residence in Kula, Paauilo, Ulupalakua, Waimea/Kamuela, Kealakekua, Haiku, Honokaa or Makawao will have any impact on the ocean.
However, there are many people in these districts who are on fixed incomes and/or cannot afford another tax.
It is absolutely unnecessary and unfair for people in the Upcountry districts to pay another tax for a perceived problem that is not caused by them.
A reason stated in the bill is that residential landowners who have paid for and installed individual wastewater systems approved by the DOH do not pay substantial fees that are paid by people who own properties that are connected to municipal wastewater systems.
Does this make it right for government to tax these people who live far from the ocean and do not contribute to any coastal water pollution problems?
In this, the most expensive state in the union, the job of lawmakers should be to assist people in being able to afford living here and not to impose yet another tax on the people.