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March 25, 2017 — End of March Update


In this edition: 

  1. End of March Update
  2. Time to Get Involved
  3. Membership Drive
  4. Legislator Contact Info


End of March Update

Since our last update at the beginning of March, the legislators sent their bills from the House to the Senate and from the Senate to the House and then took a bit of time off. They got back to work in earnest about a week to ten days ago.   And when they got back to work, they got busy!

SB683 and SB686.  Increase to property tax.

SB683 was a bill to amend the State Constitution to allow the counties to collect property taxes to fund the State’s obligation to pay for education.  This bill has turned into a call for a state-wide referendum on the proposed tax increase.  SB686 is a bill to increase property taxes on those who own residential property which is rented out and on vacation rental owners.  We would be hit with both taxes.  The bill was significantly amended in committee and now the residential investment tax applies only to properties valued at over $2 million. This is a huge win for the majority of our members. The section applying property tax to vacation rental properties remained unchanged.  If your rental rate is over $150 per night, the tax rate would be $5 per day, regardless of occupancy.  For rental rates under $150, the tax rate would be $3 per day.  So, for most people, that will be an additional $1825 of property tax per year.  RBOAA will continue to work on this aspect of the bill.  As the bill moves forward, we will call upon you again.    Remember:

  • We already pay property taxes which are 3 to 4 times higher than residential property owners.
  • We already collect and remit TAT
  • While education benefits everyone, it puts the burden of the cost of education on a few.
  • This bill is protectionist and isolationist and will only result in decreased investment in Hawaii.  It is nothing more than an attack on tourists and an attack on companies who rent accommodation to others.

These bills next go to the House Finance Committee.  The date has not yet been set.   Representative Luke and Representative Cullen are the Chair and Vice-Chair of this committee.  repluke@Capitol.hawaii.gov repcullen@Capitol.hawaii.gov   Please start contacting all Representatives ( their numbers and emails are below ) to tell them you don’t like this SB686. The two companion bills in the House of Representatives – HB 180 and HB 182 – died.

HB 1471 – Advertising Platforms as Tax Collection Agents (now in the Senate) SB704 – Advertising Platforms as Tax Collection Agents (now in the House)

This topic has become political theatre.  If you recall our last newsletter, the House CPC committee made the tax collection agent mandatory for all advertising platforms.   VRBO / Expedia testified against the bill, pointing out they would be forced out of Hawaii if this bill passed.  At least now we know VRBO, Homeaway and Expedia will not be tax collection agents any time soon.    Then, the Chair of the House CPC committee was fired from his position, not for his work on this bill but for amending another bill in a similarly outrageous way.      Then, the Senate received the House bill and promptly took out all the language and replaced it with the version of the bill the Senate had originally considered, but never passed.  [Your RBOAA exec team is not comprised of people who like to boast, but we do think our efforts played a part in this dramatic change]   Then, just on Friday, the House responded by taking a Senate bill on another topic, removing all the language and inserting the version of the bill which went to CPC – ie. the House version before it was turned into something crazy.   Your RBOAA executive team does not watch soap operas on tv, but we think they play out something like the Hawaii legislature!   So, we are back to it being optional for advertising platforms becoming tax collection agents.  We have two different approaches to dealing with the county land use laws.  The bill in the House will allow those not compliant with land use laws to hide behind the tax collection agent.  The bill in the Senate, due to some exceptionally poor wording choices, will actually prevent vacation rentals on Maui, Kauai and Hawaii if your advertising platform becomes a tax collection agent.  (They were really trying to address the issue of non-permitted vacation rentals on Oahu, but messed it up).  Both versions have significant privacy issue concerns.   So, RBOAA, along with our lobbyist, is working hard with the Senate to fix these issues.   As we have said from the start of the session, this bill will pass in some form.  RBOAA is working to make it the best form possible.   This next goes to the Senate CPH and WAM committees on March 30.   Bombarding the Chair of CPH will backfire, so RBOAA will work behind the scenes on this.   Remember:

  • The tourist industry is dependent on legal vacation rentals to provide accommodation for the tourists who visit the islands every year.
  • Those of us who are operating legally are paying GET and TAT correctly and on time and are in compliance with my county zoning requirements.  We don’t need a private company to police us.
  • The bill provides for private companies to share your tax information with the Counties.  Under US law and under Hawaii law, this is illegal.
  • The bill offers no consumer protection to owners or to travelers.
  • The bill makes transient vacation rental owners the only taxpayers in the USA who are required to use a private company to oversee their tax compliance.
  • The tax collection agents will increase the fees charged to vacation rental owners.  Vacation rental owners are not getting rich off their investments in Hawaii.
  • The state will pay the tax collection agents to collect taxes the State now collects for free.

Time to Get Involved

As with any organization, people come and people go  .Every organization needs new people to take on responsibilities, provide new energy and new ideas.   RBOAA is no different and some members of your executive team have indicated that they will be stepping down at the end of this term.  This is your opportunity to get involved and take on a role within the leadership of RBOAA.   If you are interested, please contact Neal at president@rboaa.org indicating which areas you would like to get involved with and a brief description of your background.  Please also tell us where your vacation rental is and confirm that it is compliant with both state and county regulations.


“Mahalo” to all of you who renewed your membership and/or made a donation to RBOAA this year.  We would not be able to do what we do without your support.   We have engaged our lobbyist in Honolulu already this year and he has been of great help so far.  But, he is not cheap!   In a recent study of some of the more popular owner rental web sites, there appears to be more than five thousand owner-managed vacation rental properties in Hawaii.  That number dwarfs our membership numbers so we know there are a lot of owners out there who might not be aware of RBOAA, not aware of all the good work we have done, and all of the good we will continue to do on your behalf.   We need to grow our membership in order to continue on as we have in the past.  Please ask anyone you know who owns a vacation rental property to visit our web site www.rboaa.org and become a member or make a donation today.  We all have neighbors, friends, or maybe even family who would benefit.  Please don’t assume they are aware of RBOAA.  We are all in this together and all of you can act as a small army of recruiters.  Please do your part and help us spread the word.  Help us make sure everyone who self manages a vacation rental property in Hawaii is aware of the opposition we all face and that RBOAA is here to help.     So please, right now, please renew your membership at www.rboaa.org and click on the “Donate — Click Here” button.   Remember, none of your executive team is paid – we are all volunteers.

Legislator Contact Info

Senate.  This table lists the contact information for all Senators.  Below the list is a summary of all email addresses which you should be able to copy and paste into your email To: field.
Baker ,  Rosalyn H. (D) 808-586-6070 senbaker@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Chang ,  Stanley (D) 808-586-8420 senchang@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Dela Cruz ,  Donovan M.(D) 808-586-6090 sendelacruz@capitol.hawaii.gov
English ,  J. Kalani (D) 808-587-7225 senenglish@capitol.hawaii.gov
Espero ,  Will (D) 808-586-6360 senespero@capitol.hawaii.gov
Gabbard ,  Mike (D) 808-586-6830 sengabbard@capitol.hawaii.gov
Galuteria ,  Brickwood (D) 808-586-6740 sengaluteria@capitol.hawaii.gov
Green ,  Josh (D) 808-586-9385 sengreen@capitol.hawaii.gov
Harimoto ,  Breene (D) 808-586-6230 senharimoto@capitol.hawaii.gov
Ihara ,  Les Jr. (D) 808-586-6250 senihara@capitol.hawaii.gov
Inouye ,  Lorraine R. (D) 808-586-7335 seninouye@capitol.hawaii.gov
Kahele ,  Kaiali‘i (D) 808-586-6760 senkahele@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Keith-Agaran ,  Gilbert S.C. (D) 808-586-7344 senkeithagaran@capitol.hawaii.gov
Kidani ,  Michelle N. (D) 808-586-7100 senkidani@capitol.hawaii.gov
Kim ,  Donna Mercado (D) 808-587-7200 senkim@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Kouchi ,  Ronald D. (D) 808-586-6030 senkouchi@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Nishihara ,  Clarence K. (D) 808-586-6970 sennishihara@capitol.hawaii.gov
Rhoads ,  Karl (D) 808-586-6130 senrhoads@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Riviere ,  Gil (D) 808-586-7330 senriviere@capitol.hawaii.gov
Ruderman ,  Russell E. (D) 808-586-6890 senruderman@capitol.hawaii.gov
Shimabukuro ,  Maile S.L.(D) 808-586-7793 senshimabukuro@capitol.hawaii.gov
Taniguchi ,  Brian T. (D) 808-586-6460 sentaniguchi@capitol.hawaii.gov
Thielen ,  Laura H. (D) 808-587-8388 senthielen@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Tokuda ,  Jill N. (D) 808-587-7215 sentokuda@capitol.hawaii.gov
Wakai ,  Glenn (D) 808-586-8585 senwakai@capitol.hawaii.gov

senbaker@Capitol.hawaii.gov;senchang@Capitol.hawaii.gov; sendelacruz@capitol.hawaii.gov;senenglish@capitol.hawaii.gov; senespero@capitol.hawaii.gov;sengabbard@capitol.hawaii.gov; sengaluteria@capitol.hawaii.gov;sengreen@capitol.hawaii.gov; senharimoto@capitol.hawaii.gov;senihara@capitol.hawaii.gov; seninouye@capitol.hawaii.gov;senkahele@Capitol.hawaii.gov; senkeithagaran@capitol.hawaii.gov;senkidani@capitol.hawaii.gov; senkim@Capitol.hawaii.gov;senkouchi@Capitol.hawaii.gov;  sennishihara@capitol.hawaii.gov;senrhoads@Capitol.hawaii.gov; senriviere@capitol.hawaii.gov;senruderman@capitol.hawaii.gov; senshimabukuro@capitol.hawaii.gov;sentaniguchi@capitol.hawaii.gov; senthielen@Capitol.hawaii.gov; sentokuda@capitol.hawaii.gov;  senwakai@capitol.hawaii.gov ;

House of Representatives. This table lists all the members of the House of Representatives.  Below the list is a summary of all email addresses which you should be able to copy and paste into your email To: field.
Aquino ,  Henry J.C. (D) 808-586-6520 repaquino@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Belatti ,  Della Au (D) 808-586-9425 repbelatti@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Brower ,  Tom (D) 808-586-8520 repbrower@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Cachola ,  Romy M. (D) 808-586-6010 repcachola@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Choy ,  Isaac W. (D) 808-586-8475 repchoy@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Creagan ,  Richard P. (D) 808-586-9605 repcreagan@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Cullen ,  Ty J.K. (D) 808-586-8490 repcullen@Capitol.hawaii.gov
DeCoite ,  Lynn (D) 808-586-6790 repdecoite@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Evans ,  Cindy (D) 808-586-8510 repevans@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Fukumoto ,  Beth (R) 808-586-9460 repfukumoto@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Gates ,  Cedric Asuega (D) 808-586-8460 repgates@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Har ,  Sharon E. (D) 808-586-8500 rephar@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Hashem ,  Mark J. (D) 808-586-6510 rephashem@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Holt ,  Daniel (D) 808-586-6180 repholt@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Ichiyama ,  Linda (D) 808-586-6220 repichiyama@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Ing ,  Kaniela (D) 808-586-8525 reping@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Ito ,  Ken (D) 808-586-8470 repito@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Johanson ,  Aaron Ling (D) 808-586-9470 repjohanson@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Keohokalole ,  Jarrett (D) 808-586-8540 repkeohokalole@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Kobayashi ,  Bertrand (D) 808-586-6310 repkobayashi@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Kong ,  Sam Satoru (D) 808-586-8455 repkong@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Lee ,  Chris (D) 808-586-9450 replee@Capitol.hawaii.gov
LoPresti ,  Matthew S. (D) 808-586-6080 replopresti@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Lowen ,  Nicole E. (D) 808-586-8400 replowen@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Luke ,  Sylvia (D) 808-586-6200 repluke@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Matsumoto ,  Lauren Kealohilani (R) 808-586-9490 repmatsumoto@Capitol.hawaii.gov
McDermott ,  Bob (R) 808-586-9730 repmcdermott@Capitol.hawaii.gov
McKelvey ,  Angus L.K. (D) 808-586-6160 repmckelvey@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Morikawa ,  Dee (D) 808-586-6280 repmorikawa@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Nakamura ,  Nadine K. (D) 808-586-8435 repnakamura@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Nakashima ,  Mark M. (D) 808-586-6680 repnakashima@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Nishimoto ,  Scott Y. (D) 808-586-8515 repnishimoto@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Ohno ,  Takashi (D) 808-586-9415 repohno@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Onishi ,  Richard H.K. (D) 808-586-6120 reponishi@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Oshiro ,  Marcus R. (D) 808-586-6700 repmoshiro@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Quinlan ,  Sean (D) 808-586-6380 repquinlan@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Saiki ,  Scott K. (D) 808-586-8485 repsaiki@Capitol.hawaii.gov
San Buenaventura , Joy A. (D) 808-586-6530 repsanbuenaventura@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Say ,  Calvin K.Y. (D) 808-586-6900 repsay@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Souki ,  Joseph M. (D) 808-586-6100 repsouki@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Takayama ,  Gregg (D) 808-586-6340 reptakayama@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Takumi ,  Roy M. (D) 808-586-6170 reptakumi@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Thielen ,  Cynthia (R) 808-586-6480 repthielen@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Todd ,  Chris (D) 808-586-8480 reptodd@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Tokioka ,  James Kunane(D) 808-586-6270 reptokioka@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Tupola ,  Andria P.L. (R) 808-586-8465 reptupola@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Ward ,  Gene (R) 808-586-6420 repward@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Woodson ,  Justin H. (D) 808-586-6210 repwoodson@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Yamane ,  Ryan I. (D) 808-586-6150 repyamane@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Yamashita ,  Kyle T. (D) 808-586-6330 repyamashita@Capitol.hawaii.gov

repaquino@Capitol.hawaii.gov;repbelatti@Capitol.hawaii.gov; repbrower@Capitol.hawaii.gov; repcachola@Capitol.hawaii.gov; repchoy@Capitol.hawaii.gov;repcreagan@Capitol.hawaii.gov; repcullen@Capitol.hawaii.gov; repdecoite@Capitol.hawaii.gov; repevans@Capitol.hawaii.gov; repfukumoto@Capitol.hawaii.gov; repgates@Capitol.hawaii.gov; rephar@Capitol.hawaii.gov; rephashem@Capitol.hawaii.gov;repholt@Capitol.hawaii.gov;  repichiyama@Capitol.hawaii.gov;reping@Capitol.hawaii.gov; repito@Capitol.hawaii.gov;repjohanson@Capitol.hawaii.gov; repkeohokalole@Capitol.hawaii.gov;repkobayashi@Capitol.hawaii.gov; repkong@Capitol.hawaii.gov;replopresti@Capitol.hawaii.gov; replowen@Capitol.hawaii.gov;repluke@Capitol.hawaii.gov; repmatsumoto@Capitol.hawaii.gov;repmcdermott@Capitol.hawaii.gov; repmckelvey@Capitol.hawaii.gov;repmizuno@Capitol.hawaii.gov; repmorikawa@Capitol.hawaii.gov;repnakamura@Capitol.hawaii.gov; repnakashima@Capitol.hawaii.gov;repnishimoto@Capitol.hawaii.gov; repohno@Capitol.hawaii.gov;reponishi@Capitol.hawaii.gov; repmoshiro@Capitol.hawaii.gov; repquinlan@Capitol.hawaii.gov; repsaiki@Capitol.hawaii.gov;repsanbuenaventura@Capitol.hawaii.gov; repsay@Capitol.hawaii.gov;repsouki@Capitol.hawaii.gov; reptakayama@Capitol.hawaii.gov; reptakumi@Capitol.hawaii.gov;  repthielen@Capitol.hawaii.gov; reptodd@Capitol.hawaii.gov;  reptokioka@Capitol.hawaii.gov; reptupola@Capitol.hawaii.gov; repward@Capitol.hawaii.gov;repwoodson@Capitol.hawaii.gov; repyamane@Capitol.hawaii.gov;repyamashita@Capitol.hawaii.gov;

Thank you for your continued support.  



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