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April 15, 2017 — Update

April 15, 2017 Hawaii Rentals Comments Off on April 15, 2017 — Update

Aloha

In this edition:
  1. Update;
  2. Please take action today;
  3. Please get involved tomorrow;
  4. Legislator Contact Info
Update

All three bills that we are watching – SB686 to increase property taxes, SB704 and HB1471 on tax collection agents are now in “conference”.  Bills go to conference after passing through both houses but ending up with different versions.  The Senate amended the House bills and the House amended the Senate bills and now the versions need to be reconciled.   This process takes place behind closed doors and there is no opportunity for testimony.

In the past, RBOAA has sometimes been consulted during the conference process and we have been able to add positively to the final outcome.  Whether we will be asked for input this year remains to be seen.

The two tax collection agent bills are wildly different.  The two bills are different from each other and the two bills are also very different in their current version than in the version they left the originating house in.  Hawaiian politics is wild and unpredictable, but it is difficult to see how either of these two bills will get passed without a significant amount of work.   The property tax bill is even harder to predict.  We learned yesterday that every legislator received 800 postcards from teachers supporting this bill.  That is pretty hard to discount.  But, there are cracks in the support for this bill.  The House significantly amended the Senate bill and some members of the House voted against the bill.  In discussions with certain legislators, there is lukewarm support for this bill.  They recognize the political popularity of the tax, but also recognize that it is poor tax policy and probably the wrong solution to the problem.    There are just two weeks left in the legislative session and your executive team  believes it is still possible to beat the property tax bill.  But we need your help.

Please take action today

SB686.  Increase to property tax   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 recently 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, but a significant new expense for some of our members, but it will be a $15,000+ increase in costs to those with properties over $2 million.

The section applying property tax to vacation rental properties provides for one rate for rental rates over $150 per night, regardless of occupancy and one rate for rental rates under $150, regardless of occupancy.    Now – the House took out all of the tax amounts, which means the increase in taxes could go way up – or they could go down.  Your RBOAA executive has not been able to determine why this amendment was made.  But, before the amounts were stripped out, most of us would have seen an $1825 increase in property tax per year on the vacation rental portion.

We need every member to write, email and phone every member of the House of Representatives and every member of the Senate to let them know you are opposed to this tax hike specifically aimed at you.  If you are in Hawaii, visit their offices!  

The contact information for the Representatives and Senators is at the bottom of this email.   Remember:

  • We already pay property taxes which are 3 to 4 times higher than residential property owners.
  • It is the wrong solution to a problem.  There are other studies on education funding in progress and those should be allowed to be finalized before this bill is considered.
  • The mechanism for collecting the transient accommodation tax through the property tax system is complex and unnecessary.
    • Property taxes are based on property values, not based on transactions.
    • The Counties don’t pay for education, but yet this bill puts the onus on the counties to collect education tax revenue
    • The Counties tell us they can’t enforce their own land use laws on vacation rentals, so asking to them to collect a tax on vacation rentals is silly.
  • We already collect and remit TAT
  • Hawaii already “exports” a significant portion of its tax burden by having non-residents pay an unusually high proportion of the State’s taxes.
  • While education benefits everyone, it puts the burden of the cost of education on a few.
Please Get Involved Tomorrow

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.   Also:  it is never too late to financially support RBOAA.  While all our executive team are volunteers, our lobbyist and legal advisor are paid professionals.  Check out the handy “Donate” button on this website.

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.  [Note: Some members have had issues with the emails and email addresses provided below, while others have had no issues.  Apologies to those who have had challenges – I don’t know why!]

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.  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
Mizuno ,  John M. (D) 808-586-6050 repmizuno@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. 

Mahalo,

Neal

info@rboaa.org

April 7, 2017 — Update

April 7, 2017 Hawaii Rentals Comments Off on April 7, 2017 — Update

Aloha

In this edition:

  1. Update
  2. Time to Get Involved – Part 1
  3. Time to Get Involved – Part 2
  4. Membership Drive
  5. Legislator Contact Info

 

Update

SB683 and SB686.  Increase to property tax   SB683 is 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, including the provision 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 recently 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, but a significant new expense for some 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.    Remember:

  • We already pay property taxes which are 3 to 4 times higher than residential property owners.
  • Hawaii already “exports” a significant portion of its tax burden by having non-residents pay an unusually high proportion of the State’s taxes.
  • The mechanism for collecting the transient accommodation tax through the property tax system is complex and unnecessary.
    • Property taxes are based on property values, not based on transactions.
    • The Counties don’t pay for education, but yet this bill puts the onus on the counties to collect education tax revenue
    • The Counties tell us they can’t enforce their own land use laws on vacation rentals, so asking them to collect a tax on vacation rentals is silly.
  • 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 two bills both passed committee and now go to the House of Representatives for a floor vote.

HB 1471 – Advertising Platforms as Tax Collection Agents (now in the Senate) SB704 – Advertising Platforms as Tax Collection Agents (now in the House)   Both bills passed through their respective committees earlier this week and both were amended.  The amendments have not yet been released, but we do understand that the Senate Committee did take some of the RBOAA suggestions and include them in the amended version.    At this point, it seems that only AirBnB is pushing for either bill.  VRBO – Expedia -Homeaway have testified against this bill.    We need to wait and see what the amendments turn out to be before deciding on our next course of action   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 county zoning requirements.  We don’t need to pay 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 – Part 1

The tax bill has the support of all the teachers in the state and a lot of parents and the testimony files are huge.    We need you to call and email Representatives and Senators and tell them you are opposed to SB 683 and SB 686.    Phone numbers and emails are at the bottom of this newsletter.

Time to Get Involved – Part 2

As with any organization, people come and people go.  Over time, 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.

Membership

“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
Mizuno ,  John M. (D) 808-586-6050 repmizuno@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. 

Mahalo,

Neal

March 25, 2017 — End of March Update

March 26, 2017 Hawaii Rentals Comments Off on March 25, 2017 — End of March Update

Aloha!

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.

Membership

“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.  

Mahalo,

Neal
 

Legislative Update March 4, 2017

March 4, 2017 Hawaii Rentals Comments Off on Legislative Update March 4, 2017

Aloha.   In this edition

1) Half way Update. 

2) Membership Drive.   

3) Legislator Contact Info. 

 

Half way Update

First of all, many thanks to the members who wrote, called or emailed the legislators last week to share their opposition to two bills – one to increase our property taxes and one to require accommodation brokers (VRBO, AirBnB) to collect and remit taxes on our behalf.  The blitz campaign was successful as the legislators heard our voice.   While we knew the results of the votes on Tuesday, it wasn’t until last night that the amendments to the bills were made public.

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.  If you are fortunate enough to own a property with that value, your property tax bill will increase by $15,000 per year under this bill.  However, for everyone else, this change is a huge win.  It was definitely something to celebrate.   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:

  1. We already pay property taxes which are 3 to 4 times higher than residential property owners.
  2. We already collect and remit TAT
  3. While education benefits everyone, it puts the burden of the cost of education on a few.
  4. 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.

The Senate Bills go to a vote on the floor of the Senate Tuesday, March 7, 2017 and then go over to the House for consideration.   The two companion bills in the House of Representatives – HB 180 and HB 182 – now differ significantly from the Senate versions.  However, they appear to be stalled and while they could resurrect, it is likely only the Senate versions will move forward.    Senator Thielen, an ardent anti-vacation rental advocate, is conducting a survey.  Feel free to tell her to vote no on SB683.   https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2017crossover

HB 1471 – Advertising Platforms as Tax Collection Agents   This bill became very complicated and very onerous after an earlier committee amended the bill to make it mandatory for advertising platforms to become tax collection agents.  The move to make it mandatory has two implications.  1) It sets us on the path to become a regulated industry – something we fought tooth and nail against a few years ago.  2) For advertising platforms who do not want to or cannot become tax collectors (think VRBO and HomeAway), they will not be able to accept advertisements from Hawaii vacation rental owners.  Either way, the amendments were designed to shut us down.    The House Finance committee amended the bill, acknowledging some of RBOAA’s concerns, but unfortunately, only our minor concerns.   VRBO / Expedia testified for the first time (in my memory at least) against the bill, pointing out they would be forced out of Hawaii if this bill passed.  However, the Finance committee did not amend the bill to allow VRBO to voluntarily comply with the legislation. It did allow advertisers with fewer than 3000 listings to voluntarily comply.    Here is where it gets interesting though.  The committee voted 4 in favor, 9 in favor with reservations and 2 opposed.  This can be interpreted to mean that if this was the final vote, it would not pass as those voting with reservations would likely vote no if this was the final version.   It is known that Governor Ige wants this bill to pass but he wants certain language in it.  Current thinking is that the language he wants is not in there yet.  RBOAA doesn’t have a good crystal ball on this bill, but there is reason to believe it will change significantly before the session ends.  The Senate version of this bill, which RBOAA prefers, did not make it out of committee.   The House will vote on this bill on Tuesday and send it to the Senate. If it wasn’t for the fact that Gov. Ige wants this bill passed, there is a fair chance that the House would reject the bill on Tuesday.   However, most likely, the bill will go to the Senate for further work.   RBOAA would like to see this bill fail on Tuesday but the chances of that happening are slim to nil.   This bill was never close to being good legislation but we had been optimistic it could be improved.  Now, we simply have to stop this bill.    Remember:

  1. 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.
  2. Making it mandatory for advertising platforms to become tax collectors is a very negative attack on legal vacation rental operators.  This is either the first step in making vacation rentals a regulated industry in Hawaii or an attempt to ban advertising platforms from accepting advertisements in Hawaii.
  3. The tourist industry is dependent on legal vacation rentals to provide accommodation for the tourists who visit the islands every year.
  4. 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.
  5. The bill provides for private companies to share your tax information with the Counties.  Under US law and under Hawaii law, this is illegal.
  6. The bill offers no consumer protection to owners or to travelers.
  7. The advertising platforms will choose to stop accepting Hawaii advertisers rather than comply with all the onerous requirements.  That will lead to a drop in TAT of $100 million per year.
  8. 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.
  9. The state will pay the tax collection agents to collect taxes the State now collects for free

All the other bills we were watching have quietly gone away, for now.

Membership Drive

“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 Information

Hawaii Members of State Senate

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

Hawaii Members of House of Representatives

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
Mizuno ,  John M. (D) 808-586-6050 repmizuno@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

Mahalo, Neal www.rboaa.org info@rboaa.org

February 2017 Update

February 14, 2017 Hawaii Rentals Comments Off on February 2017 Update

Aloha

In this edition:

1. Legislative Update – Three weeks into the Session;
2. Funding and Membership Drive;
3. New Regulations Effective January 1, 2016;
4. Specific regulations for each County

1. 2017 Legislative Session in now Open

We are three weeks into the legislative session and RBOAA has submitted testimony on over a dozen bills already. The Government Relations team has been working around the clock…if not literally, at least it feels like it!

We also got some great press from the Hawaii Free Press.

In the January update, we discussed how the 2016 session ended with Governor Ige vetoing the bill which would allow the advertising platforms to collect and remit taxes on behalf of the operators.

As you know, one of the main criticisms of vacation rentals, whether true or not, is that we do not collect and remit taxes. The hotel industry uses that argument across the nation to support increased regulation or the outright banning of vacation rentals. Last year, the bill had put forward by one of the advertising platforms in an attempt to crack down on tax cheats but also to stem the efforts of the hotel industry to shut us down.

This bill has resurfaced in 2017 with six different versions being presented.

Some versions of the bill were put forward by the hotel industry and included language which would limit transient vacation rentals to no more than 60 days of rentals per year and limit vacation rental owners to owning no more than one property.

There are about 10 bills which propose to increase taxes on us, including two which require an amendment to the State Constitution in order to allow the State to impose a new tax upon vacation rentals and residential investment properties.

We started with about 20 bills dealing with vacation rentals in four themes.

1. Advertising Platforms (such as VRBO) can collect and remit taxes on behalf of operators (you).
2. Travelers to Hawaii and people and companies who provide accommodation to the travelers should pay more in tax.
3. People who rent out residential property to vacationers should be limited to renting out no more than 60 nights per year and owning no more than one or two properties. (More on this below)
4. Counties should be allowed to change zoning to eliminate transient vacation rentals. This proposal comes up each year, but this year, it only applies to the County of Kauai.

Let’s focus on #3 first as the limitations on rentals are very concerning, obviously. Our initial understanding was that the restrictions were intended to apply to a small group of vacation rental owners. However, we later learned that the restrictions were intended to apply to every vacation rental except hotels, motels, inns and B&B’s. RBOAA vigorously opposed these bills. The bills were also opposed by the State Attorney General. The Senate committee rejected the bill on Friday afternoon and the House Committee removed the language limiting activity to one unit and to 60 days. So, put that in the win column!

Advertising Platforms as Tax Collection Agents

This remains a hot button issue. The legislators are determined to pass this bill and avoid a veto again this year. Our members are definitely split on this topic.

RBOAA is testifying on the bill and asking for amendments to improve it. We support the concept of easing both the tax collection burden and enforcement of compliance with county zoning regulations. Not only is that the right position to take, but it helps neutralize the primary criticism we face in the media and in the legislature. If our opponents (currently, it is the hotels) can’t say we don’t pay tax and we don’t comply with zoning, the legislators are far less incentivized to impose new regulations on us.

We are seeking the amendments to a) prevent the tax collection agent from charging us for collecting and remitting tax; b) allowing us to opt-out of the tax collection arrangement our advertising platform has (under certain circumstances); and c) require the state to conduct annual audits of the tax collection agents.

Taxes

As travelers don’t vote, they are a good source of tax revenue. There are a number of proposals to increase the TAT to cover education, environment and housing. There is also a proposal to add an additional tax on the property tax.

RBOAA will try to help the legislators understand that Hawaii needs to remain competitive in the tourism and convention market.

Here is a brief synopsis of the bills we are working on:

HB1470 – has passed to the second round of committees
This bill is one of many dealing with the question of hosting platforms as tax collection agents. It requires us, as operators, to keep records (putting the onus of audit on the operator). The bill provides for hosting platforms to de-list any advertiser (you) who does not comply with tax or zoning laws and requires the platforms to obtain attestation from you that you are in compliance with zoning laws.

This bill previously had the language to limit us to 60 days rental per year and limit us to owning only one property and provided for a 4% increase in the TAT. That language is all gone, but this bill remains deeply flawed and RBOAA will be opposing it vigorously until it is defeated.

HB 1471 / SB1087 – both versions have passed to the second round of committees
These bills allow anyone, not just hosting platforms, to act as tax collection agents. This bill is not offensive but it needs to be a lot better in order to be good legislation. RBOAA is strongly pushing for improvements and amendments to the bill as noted above.
We expect these bills will pass. There is very strong support at the Capitol for them.

SB1281 / SB1202 – both bills were deferred (rejected) in first round of committee

HB1242 – has not been heard in committee and is not likely to be heard
These three bills were similar in concept to HB1471 and SB 1087.

HB546 – rejected in the first round of committee
This bill proposed surtax on the TAT in order to fund housing for hotel employees.

HB180 / HB 182 / SB 686 / SB 683 – all passed to the second round of committees
These bills increase property taxes on both vacation rentals and residential investment properties to help fund the education system in Hawaii. Two bills increase the tax and two bills provide for the amendment to the Hawaii State Constitution to make the new tax legal.

Property Value Surcharge per $1000 of property value
Under $500,000 $3.50
$500,000- $750,000 $4.50
$750,000-$1,000,000 $5.50
$1,000,000 – $2,000,000 $6.50
$2,000,000 and over $7.50

So, if your property was worth $400,000, you would pay $1400 in residential property tax surcharge each year. If your property was worth $2,000,000, you would pay $15,000.

In addition, there is proposed a nightly tax of $3.00 for rents up to $150 per night and $5.00 per night for rents over $150. This is regardless of occupancy. So the $400,000 property probably commands a rent of $150 a night on average, so 365*$5 = $1825, for a total tax of $3225.

Currently, this type of tax is most likely not possible to implement in Hawaii, so they are proposing a constitutional amendment (SB683 & HB182) to allow the state to impose this tax. This is the same tax which has been the subject of a legal battle in the City and County of Honolulu.

The Counties are not in favor of this bill, nor is the State Department of Finance. However, the bills have garnered massive support for parents, teachers’ unions, schools and social agencies.
RBOAA is opposing the bills, but we expect this battle to be hard-fought.

SB862 / HB1331 – SB862 has passed to the next round of committees and HB1331 has not yet been heard.
These identical bills allow for the phase out of single family transient vacation rental units in the counties with populations fewer than 100,000, which is essentially Kauai. The County of Kauai has put forward this bill every year for at least the past 5 years. Every year it gets defeated. By narrowing the scope to just that county, perhaps they think it will have a better chance. RBOAA is opposing the bill

SB704 – passed to the second round of committees
This bill proposes to set up a committee to study transient accommodations in the State and provides for membership from vacation rental owners.

HB1586 – First hearing scheduled for next week
The preamble to the bill proposes moving the tax burden from residents to non-residents. The bill, as currently drafted, doesn’t actually change the tax structure to affect non-residents. We will continue to watch this bill as it is likely to get amended by committee.

HB1453 / SB1143 – neither version has been heard by committee
This is another tax on tourists, this one being $20 per guest to fund environmental protection and conservation. The wording indicates that a party of 4 would pay $80.

SB702 – not yet heard by committee
This bill has already garnered some media attention as it states that failure to register for TAT and GET is a class C felony. A Class C felony is punishable by a maximum of seven years in prison. Class C felonies include crimes such as theft, possession of a controlled substance, second-degree statutory rape and first-degree involuntary manslaughter.

This bill also sets up a public database whereby anyone can look you up to see if you are properly registered. This raises certain security and privacy concerns.

SB695 – not yet heard by committee
This bill is actually quite good as it attempts to clarify that TAT applies to rent and mandatory fees charged to guests. RBOAA supports clarification of tax rules.

The Hawaii Legislature opened earlier in January and will run until about mid-May.

2. Funding and Membership – RBOAA

It is, of course, membership renewal time!

“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/or click on the “Donate — Click Here” button.

Remember, none of your executive team is paid – we are all volunteers.

3. Act 204 Took Effect January 1, 2016. Make sure you are in compliance today.

The full details of Act 204 are available on our website at www.rboaa.org. The key summary points are:

• If you don’t live on the same island as your vacation rental, you need to name a Local Contact and you must identify your Local Contact by name, phone number and email address to your guests before they check in and within the rental property. Your local contact does not need to be a real estate agent unless he/she is performing tasks for which a real estate license is required (e.g. collecting rent on your behalf).

• You must post your Hawaii Tax ID number (your TAT ID number) conspicuously in all advertisements and in your rental

We are still – yes – still – waiting for the detailed rules from the DoT as to how they will enforce and interpret Act 204. We will send that along to you when we get it.

4. Specific Regulations for each County

RBOAA’s mandate is focused at the State of Hawaii level, and to consider certain issues which bridge the County level and the State level.It is very important for you to know that each county in Hawaii has its own regulations (or lack thereof) for zoning and permitting of vacation rentals. Please visit the County Regulations page on the RBOAA website, https://www.rboaa.org/county-regulations/ to check for regulations and upcoming potential regulations. The onus is on you, as owner, to ensure you are in compliance with all regulations – state, county and HOA.

We recently updated the page with information on all counties.

We will do our best to keep this page up to date, but we can’t promise it is always up to date. If you have specific questions about county regulations which you can’t answer from our website, please contact the county. RBOAA simply does not have the volunteer resources to answer questions on specific county regulations.

Mahalo,

Nea

January 2017 Newsletter

January 31, 2017 Hawaii Rentals Comments Off on January 2017 Newsletter

Aloha! 

Happy New Year to Everyone!!
In this edition:
  1. 1) 2017 Legislative Session is open;
  2. 2) New Regulations Effective January 1, 2016;
  3. 3) Specific regulations for each County;
  4. 4) Update on Oahu County Enforcement; and
  5. 5) Funding and Membership Drive

The 2017 Legislative Session in now Open.

The Hawaii Legislature opened earlier in January and will run until about mid-May.   To understand the 2017 session, we need to remember last year.  The 2016 session ended with Governor Ige vetoing the bill which would allow the advertising platforms to collect and remit taxes on behalf of the operators.    As you know, one of the main criticisms of vacation rentals, whether true or not, is that we do not collect and remit taxes.  The hotel industry uses that argument across the nation to support increased regulation of vacation rentals.  The bill had put forward in an attempt to crack down on tax cheats.  During the session, the bill took on additional burdens – namely the requirement for advertising platforms to ensure owners complied with county zoning regulations.  Read More

Archive: Hawaii Department of Taxation Modernization

July 4, 2016 Hawaii Rentals Comments Off on Archive: Hawaii Department of Taxation Modernization

According to announcements made by the Hawaii DOT on May 5, 2016:

Modernization of the Tax System

“The Department is undergoing a major modernization effort to transform its operations and meet the rising expectations of today’s taxpayers. The Tax System Modernization Program is a collection of projects slated for completion by 2020. Almost every technical system used by the Department will be upgraded or replaced, especially old systems that no longer meet Hawaii’s needs. While the process of putting in new technology might lead to temporary performance hits, new tax systems will ultimately result in better taxpayer service and improved enforcement of tax laws.” Read More

Archive: June 2016 Newsletter

July 4, 2016 Hawaii Rentals Comments Off on Archive: June 2016 Newsletter

Aloha!

In this edition:

  1. Governor Ige Vetoes HB 1850
  2. New Regulations Effective January 1, 2016
  3. Specific regulations for each County
  4. Funding and Membership Drive

 


  1.    Governor Ige Vetoes HB 1850

This bill was put forward by AirBnB and the State of Hawaii Department of Tax in an attempt to crack down on tax cheats by allowing advertising platforms to collect and remit taxes directly to the State.   As you know, one of the main criticisms of vacation rentals, whether true or not, is that we do not collect and remit taxes.  The hotel industry uses that argument across the nation to support increased regulation of vacation rentals.   RBOAA initially supported this bill in order to quiet that accusation, but right from the very beginning, we had concerns about the level of confidentiality the advertising platforms were allowed to afford their owner/advertisers.  While we supported the bill, we asked for the veil of secrecy to be lifted.  The legislators did not agree and so, in later rounds of hearings on this bill, RBOAA opposed the measure.

During the legislative process, the bill took on additional burdens – namely the requirement for advertising platforms to ensure owners complied with county zoning regulations.  While RBOAA fully agrees that owners need to comply with County zoning, it is absurd to ask a third party for-profit organization to enforce the law.  Not only have the counties been largely unwilling or unable to enforce their own laws, RBOAA has long opposed any non-governmental authority being put into a regulatory authority role – most notably, property managers and real estate agents.

Ultimately, while the legislators did not heed RBOAA’s concerns, the Governor did, and this week, he announced he would veto the bill, saying that more work needed to be done to ensure county regulations were complied with, in addition to ensuring taxes were collected.  He also stated that transient vacation rentals are the responsibility of the counties.  This last statement is disturbing as the counties are generally very opposed to vacation rentals.  For example, The City and County of Honolulu has not issued a vacation rental permit for almost 30 years and, for example, in Maui new rules require an owner of a property with a value of less than $1 million to have owned the property for 5 years before turning into a vacation rental.

Looking forward, we will need to address issues not only at the state level but also at each of the counties.  This will make our work much harder in the coming years –  much harder unfortunately as we don’t have experience or resources at those levels of government.   One last note.  This bill attracted lots of passionate correspondence, in the RBOAA email inbox, in the media and letters to the editor, in social media and in the testimony to the legislators.  For many, this bill became a referendum on vacation rentals as a whole, with the argument being that we should not be allowed to rent out our properties to tourists at all.  Various property owners (especially in high value neighborhoods), social welfare groups, unions and even some RBOAA members took this position.  Some other RBOAA members opposed the bill because of a hate-on for AirBnB (even though no one ever explained the origin of that anger).  While everyone is entitled to their opinion and has the right to express it, there were some pretty vile emails in the RBOAA inbox.


2.    Act 204 Took Effect January 1, 2016.  Make sure you are in compliance today.

The full details of Act 204 are available on our website.  The key summary points are:

  • If you don’t live on the same island as your vacation rental, you need to name a Local Contact and you must identify your Local Contact by name, phone number and email address to your guests before they check in and within the rental property.  Your local contact does not need to be a real estate agent unless he/she is performing tasks for which a real estate license is required (e.g. collecting rent on your behalf).

You must post your Hawaii Tax ID number (your TAT ID number) conspicuously in all advertisements and in your rental

We are still waiting for the detailed rules from the DoT as to how they will enforce and interpret Act 204.  We will send that along to you when we get it.


   3.    Specific Regulations for each County

RBOAA’s mandate is focused at the State of Hawaii level, and to consider certain issues which bridge the County level and the State level.  Given the Governor’s comments, your executive committee will be discussing if and how we can be active at the County level, but it is very important for you to know that each county in Hawaii has its own regulations (or lack thereof) for zoning and permitting of vacation rentals.  For up to date information, please visit the County Regulations page on the RBOAA website, https://www.rboaa.org/county-regulations/ to check for regulations and upcoming potential regulations.

The onus is on you, as owner, to ensure you are in compliance with all regulations – state, county and HOA. On the County Regulations page is a listing of the rules for each of the counties along with the links to find each county’s regulations regarding Transient Vacation Rentals.  We will do our best to keep this page up to date, but it is advisable for you visit the planning department and planning commission web pages for each county to keep up to date with potential new rules and regulations that are in the works.  If you have specific questions about county regulations which you can’t answer from our website, please contact the county.  RBOAA simply does not have the volunteer resources to answer questions on specific county regulations.  Remember all counties have different property tax rates if you are renting out your property.   


    4.    Funding and Membership – RBOAA

We have worked with our lobbyists to contain the fees this year and we spent far less money this year than we did last year.    “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.

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 committee members are paid – we are all volunteers.

Thank you for your continued support. 

Mahalo, Neal www.rboaa.org info@rboaa.org Read More

Archive: Legislative Update: February 2016

February 17, 2016 Hawaii Rentals 0

Aloha from the President of RBOAA. 

The legislative session has completed the first two weeks of the session and a lot of dust has settled, and so I wanted to provide you with an update   In this edition: 

  1. New Regulations Effective January 1, 2016. 
  2. Proposed Bills as at January 31, 2016. 
  3. RBOAA Funding and Membership Drive. 

—————-

1.  Act 204 Took Effect January 1, 2016.  Make sure you are in compliance today. We know that the media is checking and some of you are not in compliance!

The full details of Act 204 are available on this website.

  • If you don’t live on the same island as your vacation rental, you need to name a Local Contact and you must identify your Local Contact by name, phone number and email address to your guests before they check in and within the rental property
  • You must post your Hawaii Tax ID number (your TAT ID number) conspicuously in all advertisements and in your rental

If you have any questions, RBOAA recommends you contact the Hawaii Department of Taxation.  The DoT will shortly be issuing some information about how they are going to administer the new rules and I will send that along to you when I get it. Read More

Archive: Year End Update: December 2015 Newsletter

December 15, 2015 Hawaii Rentals Comments Off on Archive: Year End Update: December 2015 Newsletter

 

Aloha and Mele Kalikimaka!

We had a challenging and ultimately successful 2015, made possible through efforts of members and your Executive Committee, and it’s time to get ready for what lies ahead in 2016.

Most notably, new rules affecting our vacation rentals take effect on January 1, 2016. Please see Section 3 below to ensure you are ready.

While the future offers uncertainty, one thing is for sure: Without you, our members, we would not be in the position we’re all in today — still able to operate our legal vacation rentals in the State of Hawaii. You keep us going, and it’s your contributions, past and future, that anchor this update.

A hearty ‘mahalo’ from me and from all of your Executive and volunteers. Please keep up your volunteer support as well as, and especially, your financial support, for RBOAA —it keeps us all going!

Neal

 

In this newsletter edition, we cover a lot of territory!

  1. Upcoming Legislative Session
  2. Funding and Membership
  3. New Regulations Effective January 1, 2016
  4. 2016 RBOAA Executive Committee
  5. Ocean Safety
  6. Next Steps

Read More