Editor’s Note: Civil Beat is examining why life in the islands is so expensive in an ongoing series, Living Hawaii. We are taking a look at what’s behind high prices here and discussing ways to bring them down.
We’ve all heard about the “Paradise Tax.” It is, people say, the added cost of living in these islands.
We feel it at the gas pump, when we open our electric bill, and at the checkout counter when we purchase a gallon of milk.
Many believe it gets back to the cost of shipping goods across the Pacific. The cost of transit may be what adds a buck or more onto the price of a six-pack.
So what about that brand new Chevy Cruze? What could be more vulnerable to the so-called paradise tax than a shiny new car fresh off the boat?
After all it weighs more than that sixer of beer, and takes up much more room on a cargo ship. But as it turns out, new vehicles aren’t subject to the same paradise tax as most other goods.
“It’s so counter-intuitive it surprises people,” said Dave Rolf, of the Hawaii Automobile Dealers Association. “There’s uniform shipping so it’s the same cost to ship a car one mile from the factory as it is to ship it to Hawaii.”
That means a new Toyota should list at the same price in Lihue as it does in Los Angeles, where the cost of living is far less than in Hawaii where Oahu’s median home price just touched $700,000.
Rolf says that the car company’s policy acts as a great price “equalizer” because it puts dealerships …
Uber Driver Denies Sexual Assault
Former Uber driver Luke Wadahara, 24, pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges of sexual assaulting a passenger, 16.
Alleged Seal Attacker Arrested
A 19-year-old Kauai man has been arrested in connection with the recent beating of a 17-year old pregnant monk seal.
Parents Of ‘Peter Boy’ Indicted
The murder charges are in connection with the disappearance of their son, Peter Kema Jr., 19 years ago on the Big Island.
The contract governing a deal to house at least 1,400 Hawaii inmates is about to be signed.