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  • Friday, February 16, 2024 10:06 AM | Executive Director (Administrator)


    The mid and short-term rental industry is under attack in the state legislature. Two Bills - HB1838 and SB2919 - would give the Counties full authority to phase-out rentals in any zoning. This includes disallowing rentals for less than 180 days, negating the important HILSTRA lawsuit win. It also includes the Minatoya list which encompasses a large percentage of Short-Term rentals on Maui. The Statewide organization - HIMAST (Hawai’i Mid and Short-term Rental Alliance), along with the island alliances are focused on stopping these Bills. We need your help!

    Both Bills will have another hearing. As we are only given 48 hours notice of Hearing dates, we are asking that you prepare now.

    Here's What You Can Do to

    Help Defeat These Bills:

    • Register on the State Capitol Website to enable testimony submission. What this VIDEO to learn how.

    • Prepare your testimony now. Tell your personal story of how your life in Hawai'i will be imapcted if they take away your ability to rent your unit (or be employed in the short-term rental industry). You can easily cut and paste or attach a document to your testimony submission once the Hearing is set.

    • Call or email your district legislators. Look them up HERE. As a constituent, you are VERY important to them. The following legislators are key at the next Hearings: Senator McKelvey, Representative Cochran and Representative Amato.

    • Ask your cleaners, contractors and other industry supporters to also submit testimony. Personal stories from residents are best. However, to make it easy here is a template that you can customizer for their use: STR Supporter Testimony

    • Reach out to residents and important visiting contractors that you've accommodated for testimony. (Displaced Residents, military, traveling nurses, emergency workers) Share with them this template to submit their personal stories of staying in a short-term rental: STR Guest Testimony

    Please take these five steps today to save our industry. Even getting one Cleaner/ Contractor and one former guest will triple your impact. Support for these Bills has outpaced opposition so far. We can change that!

    Please prepare now so that we will be ready with more testimony for our legislators to consider.  

    Together, we can do this! 

    If you have any questions please feel free to email me



    MVRA Board of Directors

  • Thursday, December 07, 2023 1:39 PM | Executive Director (Administrator)

    We support the Malama Maui pin.

    The pin, named after the Hawaiian phrase "Malama Maui," signifying "Caring for Maui," hopes to offer solace to residents while providing guidance for visitors. Its fundamental purpose is to establish a supportive environment for our residents by offering a visual cue to visitors, signifying the importance of refraining from inquiring about the experiences of Maui residents, thus respecting their privacy. Lisa Paulson, executive director for Maui Hotel and Lodging Association said “The Malama Maui Pin coordinates beautifully with all our messaging on how to visit Maui with respect and compassion. Many survivors are not ready to share their experiences with others.” 

    This seemingly small gesture, embodied by the Malama Maui Pin, hopes to serve, and safeguard our people and provides a visual cue for visitors to understand how to engage or not engage with our community. 

    To obtain Malama Maui Pins, visit or e-mail

  • Tuesday, December 05, 2023 1:34 PM | Executive Director (Administrator)

    MVRA Needs Your Attention

    and Support!

    Both the State Legislators and Local Council are convinced that our short-term rentals are the only solution to the fire victim housing issue. This may result in the amortization or phasing-out of legal rentals on Maui. 




    Joining MVRA will ensure the organization can continue this work and fund a professional state lobbyist to combat harmful regulation. If we don’t all pitch in, we will continue to have our rights and income taken away at the whim of legislators and the hotel lobbyists that support them.

    Earlier this year Civil Beat reported on the top Lobbyist expenditures and how much was spent by different entities. They remarked on Airbnb and Turo being in the top 30 along with Young Brothers and Hilton Vacations. Here is what we found when digging into the lobbyist and campaign contributions data deeper:


    Hotel and resorts spent 16 times more than the vacation rental industry with $623K raised in campaign contributions during the same time frame.


    Hotels were the largest spenders on lobbyists with $1.6 million over the last 5 years, 5% of total lobbyist funds. Unions spent $903K representing 3% overall, while construction and vacation rental platforms accounted for about $722K and $750K, and 2% each respectively.

    We are being outspent politically on every level and now feeling the results of that.

    The legal vacation rental industry is a large and legitimate industry in Hawaii, raising billions in revenue, property taxes and visitor spending, but individual ownership makes it a fractured industry, hard for legislators and county and state administrations to understand. It is easier for them to deal with big corporations, top down one size fits all legislation, management with big payrolls and unions. 

    Source: Hawaii Tourism Authority, DBEDT


    However, the state and counties derive a lot of funding and jobs from the legal vacation rental trade, and visitors and mid term renters including nurses and doctors depend on and relish the diverse options for accommodation. Owners of vacation rentals are local families. This is one of the only ways we give our local residents ways to participate directly in the hospitality industry. Other owners of vacation rentals are our return visitors, living part time in the islands. They are some of Hawaiiʻs most engaged visitors, supporting small businesses, caring for the environment, taking care of residents that work in the industry, and paying premium tax rates for the privilege to do so.

    We need more cohesion in the industry to share and educate the legislators and increase the volume of our collective voices. We are working hard to protect your interest in the short-term rental industry. Please Join or Donate today at

  • Saturday, December 02, 2023 1:30 PM | Executive Director (Administrator)

    TVR/STR Real Property Tax Trends

    Speaking of real property tax increases, Here is what we know about the last 6 years in property tax trends and the Short Term Rental Classification.

    The short term rentals generated 40% of real property tax revenue this fiscal year (FY23-24), or $213.7M. This amount represents 20% of the county operating budget. This is the largest single revenue generating category in the real property tax classifications. Next would be Non Owner Occupied property $127.6M, followed by Timeshare $54.7M and Hotel Resort with $51M. 

    The county increased their budget this year by $102M, and 52% of that increase or $53M came from increased revenue in the TVR/STR category. The next highest increase was $7.5M in the Hotel/Resort classification (7 times less than the STR increase).

    The short term rental category is the only category out of all twelve of the county land use classifications that has seen 6 consecutive years of increased tax revenue generation. It is also the only land use classification that has seen 6 consecutive years of increased assessment value in this period as well. The TVR/STR classification grew from 28% in FY2018-2019 to 40% of the total Real Property Tax revenue in 5 years.

    Looking at visitor adjacent land use classifications specifically, the county has an increasing propensity to lean on the visitor industry to make up the lion's share of their budget. The classifications of Hotel/Resort, Timeshare, Non Owner Occupied and TVR/STR together comprise 84% of the Real Property Tax revenues in this fiscal year. That figure was 56% in FY2018-2019. 

    To view this data stream click here

    Source for all data sets

  • Friday, December 01, 2023 1:32 PM | Executive Director (Administrator)

    Gov. Josh Green's Proposal

    The Governor also announced a proposal on Wednesday to incentivize housing on Maui. Gov. Josh Green’s version includes long term rental pricing at $5K/mo for studio or 1 bedroom; and up to $11K/mo for a 4 bedroom; and plans to use federal, state government and private foundation money.

    Green’s program also involves dedicating funding of $50K per unit to build 1000 accessory dwelling units on private property. Property owners would be able to choose from 5 pre approved models of ohanas and get any necessary zoning changes within 30 days. Green’s plan includes expediting existing housing projects as well.

    Green has a plan B as well, but that focuses on a ban of short term rentals. “A second option would allow the government to impose an 18-month ban on short-term vacation rentals on Maui. Under that plan, some $324 million of federal, state and private funds would be used to pay property owners who would give 18-month leases to displaced residents instead of renting to tourists or others for a short term.” according to the article by Civil Beat.

    The state legislature has formed working groups to work on recovery solutions for the wildfires. The Shelter working group led by Troy Hashimoto and Luke Evslin published their draft report that include 4 recommendations for expediting housing. The first is expediting housing projects with state financing options; the second is cutting regulatory burdens; third is to utilize short term rentals for long term housing; and fourth is ideas for housing the vulnerable. 

    Recommendations 3 starts with incentivizing the short term rentals to convert with tax incentives as we are seeing the government do now.

    But the darker side of recommendation 3 is for the state legislature to introduce a bill granting counties authority to phase out non-conforming STRs as a tool to create long term housing. While Green’s proposal is not going that far, it is likely that the state will bring forward the same measure from last year that aims to grant counties this control.

    In the report it does say, “Currently, counties are prohibited from phasing out the zoning of non-conforming residential uses of single-family homes or duplexes. The counties have interpreted this to include a blanket prohibition on changing the zoning of STRs without allowing existing STRs to continue to operate through non-conforming use permits.”

    Governor Green’s proposal isn’t available for review just yet. So far he has only announced it through the media. 

    To Contact the Governor:

    The Honorable Josh Green

    Governor, State of Hawai‘i

    Executive Chambers

    State Capitol 

    415 South Beretania St. 

    Honolulu, Hawai‘i 96813

    Phone: (808) 586-0034

    Fax: (808) 586-0006

    Email Governor Green

    Instagram @govjoshgreen

    To contact your state legislators visit:

  • Friday, December 01, 2023 1:28 PM | Executive Director (Administrator)

    Mayor's STR RPT Tax Waiver Incentive

    This weeks news was abuzz with proposals and potential mandates from the Mayor and Governor with regard to housing. There have been weeks of meetings and suggestions, and the state and county are desperately trying to locate mid-term housing. 

    “By converting short-term units to long-term rental properties, and renting them to residents who have been displaced by the disaster, owners of Maui’s thousands of short-term vacation rentals, timeshares and non-owner-occupied homes will be exempted from paying real property taxes,“ says Mayor Bissen in a press release.

    The Mayor has introduced a new proposal, bill 131 that will be introduced in the 12/5/23 County Council Meeting. This new tax relief proposal is aimed at incentivizing short term rental owners to rent to the residents displaced by the wildfire disaster.

    According to the press release from the county the exemption is meant to work like this:

    “If you have a property assessed at $1,000,000 classified as TVR-STRH, your taxes for this fiscal year are $11,850. If you lease your entire property and the lease begins January 1, 2024, and ends December 31, 2024, you will receive a $5,925 reduction in this year’s taxes (2nd installment) and the full $11,850 in next year’s taxes if you apply by January 30, 2024. That is an estimated savings of $17,775.”

    Some of the things we have asked the administration to clarify are:

    • What FEMA will pay: We hear that it is 175% of HUD rates plus utilities, plus extra if the unit is furnished but knowing some of the ranges they are offer would be useful.

    • What is the time period and what happens after that term

    • Who takes care of the unit, and damages if incurred

    What the proposal does not put in writing is the Mayor’s intention to increase tax rates for next year. However he does verbalize this idea saying, ”I also intend to propose to the County Council an increase of property taxes for all short-term vacation rentals, timeshare units and non-owner-occupied properties assessed at over a million dollars that do not participate in this program designed to help our Maui people secure housing. Owners who help our disaster-impacted families by making their units available will receive a tax waiver. While those who choose not to can help by contributing more in taxes to make up for the loss of tax revenue.”

    To participate in the 12/5/2023 meeting:



    Regardless of what the Mayor says here, the county may have little alternative to raising property taxes next year, as it looks at more than 65 lawsuits, huge infrastructure builds post recovery, and other post disaster budget increases. 

    If you are interested in participating in the FEMA direct rental program you can gain more information from this page that The State Department of Business Economic Development and Tourism has put together. Thyere is a short explanation of the FEMA direct lease program, just one of the ways FEMA is working on housing. On this page it says they are offering 175% of market value rent, and looking for 12 to 18 month rentals. For more information

    State DBEDT also has a resource website where you can go to watch previous Maui recovery webinars, FAQs and updates

    Feel free to reach out to your County Council representatives via email or phone: 

    •, Council Chair, Phone: (808) 270-7760; 
    •, Vice-Chair, Phone: (808) 270-7939;
    • , Presiding Officer Pro Tempore, Phone: (808) 270-5501;
    •, Councilmember, Phone: (808) 270-7108;
    •, Councilmember, Phone: (808) 270-7768;
    •, Councilmember, Phone: (808) 270-5504;
    •, Councilmember, Phone: (808) 270-7678;
    •, Councilmember, Phone: (808) 270-7246;
    •, Councilmember, Phone: (808) 270-5507;

  • Monday, October 30, 2023 1:22 PM | Executive Director (Administrator)

    Wildfire Disaster Recovery Group

    We are forming a group of interested member owners, management teams and individuals interested in discussing topics related to the wildfire disaster and rebuilding. Please sign up below to be included in future emails and meetings.

    Include Me in the Wildfire Disaster Recovery Group

  • Monday, October 30, 2023 1:10 PM | Executive Director (Administrator)

    The County Council has a few new proposals for real property tax relief for properties affected by the wildfire disaster.

    Bill 91 - Introduced by Alice Lee. Finds that all properties damaged and or destroyed should be temporarily exempt from RPT.

    Bil 95 - Introduced by Tamara Paltin. Offers a real property tax exemption for properties classified as commercialized residential (B&B), STR-TVR, and Hotel/Resort that rent their property to a displaced person or family

    Bill 102- Introduced by Yukilei Sugimura. Gives property that was destroyed or damaged exemptions from rpt, delinquent tax and penalties for 3 years beginning from 1/1/2024, however if property is sold during this period then the new landowner is responsible for paying taxes from the date of the sale.

    These proposals will be discussed at tomorrow's Budget, Finance, and Economic Development Committee, beginning at 9am.|&Search=

    To submit testimony you can go to this link:

    And submit them digitally.

    The finance director has brought up a number of clarifications for these bills (see here), and we are still not clear on implementation or if assessment division will be asking for other clarifications as well. We support these bills that incentivize tax relief for owners of STRs that choose to rent their properties to displaced families. We will keep you posted on updates to this bill as it moves through this process.

    Finally, feel free to reach out to your County Council representatives via email or phone: 

    •, Council Chair, Phone: (808) 270-7760; 
    •, Vice-Chair, Phone: (808) 270-7939;
    • , Presiding Officer Pro Tempore, Phone: (808) 270-5501;
    •, Councilmember, Phone: (808) 270-7108;
    •, Councilmember, Phone: (808) 270-7768;
    •, Councilmember, Phone: (808) 270-5504;
    •, Councilmember, Phone: (808) 270-7678;
    •, Councilmember, Phone: (808) 270-7246;
    •, Councilmember, Phone: (808) 270-5507;

  • Friday, October 27, 2023 9:06 AM | Executive Director (Administrator)

    Along with the Mayor and Governor announcing that Maui is officially open on November 1st, HTA has launched a new campaign named Mālama Maui. In coordination with various community members and partners, HTA produced new videos featuring Maui residents welcoming mindful visitation and sharing how visitors can Mālama Maui. In addition, Governor Josh Green, M.D.’s Office of Wellness and Resilience, HTA and County of Maui have partnered to create informational flyers and screen signage with tips for respectful, compassionate and responsible travel to support the community’s healing. These resources are being distributed broadly to visitors, airlines, accommodations, rental car companies, shops, restaurants, tour operators and other businesses.

    Some of their travel tips that you can share with you guests include:

    • Make sure you’ve packed two things on a trip: patience and grace. Expect to wait for longer than you’re used to for food or other services.
    • Support local businesses. Your visit will support Maui businesses that rely on tourism for their families’ livelihood. Visit for various ways to eat, shop, play, stay and support local.
    • Hosting uninvited volunteers in direct recovery work may be difficult at this time. Visit for efforts welcoming volunteers and contributions.
    • Do not enter Lahaina Town or take photos of the area, even from afar. The area is restricted because conditions can be hazardous to your health. Respect the privacy of survivors and the dignity of those who lost their lives.
    • Do not ask about a resident’s personal experience with the disaster. While a question such as “Were you impacted by the fire?” may be intended to be supportive, many survivors are not ready to share their experiences with others.
    • If you come across a memorial service or other private gathering, leave the area immediately. Respect the gathered survivors and residents — do not take photos or videos.

    Visit HTA’s Mālama Maui toolkit to view and download these resources, including an updated map of Maui at: The toolkit is available for community members, industry partners and businesses to utilize.

    The County of Maui has also launched the website with listings of local businesses, including Bed and Breakfast operations, Short Term Rentals, activities and events that visitors can support.

    Another place to list and look for Maui Businesses to support:

    To share the HTA video:

    Mālama Maui

  • Monday, May 15, 2023 10:23 AM | Executive Director (Administrator)

    Hawaii State Legislature End of Session Summary for Vacation Rentals

    It was a brutal season for the Vacation Rental industry at the state legislature. We were watching over 10 bills make their way through the state legislature with a calls to action on a several of them. This is your summary on some of those bills and where we are at now.

    This year House Representative Sean Quinlan (North Shore Oahu) is the new chair of tourism, and he kicked off the season by sponsoring a bunch of bills aimed at managing the visitor industry and eradicating illegal vacation rentals. However, these bills were far reaching and punitive, failed to have any input from stakeholders, and would have put legal vacation rentals out of business or altered property rights.

    We successfully organized and testified at these meetings to let the state know about our legal operators and what they are doing to benefit our communities. We also informed them about the benefits of community based accommodation businesses and the contributions they continue to make in their counties. Lastly, we gave them pause as to why they would even consider closing down small businesses in our current economic climate. 

    We met with Tourism House Committee Chair Sean Quinlan before the end of session:

    His sentiment is pro-resort zoning for STRs and getting them out of residential neighborhoods because of the housing crisis (except maybe for Big Island where it isn't as big an issue due to size and current home prices). 

    He isn't happy with the large numbers of unhosted rentals on Maui. He also said the residential non conforming properties doing STR are definite targets. He believes Kauai has the best model, STRs in resort zoning. 

    • He would like to work on a possible statewide Bill on STRs this summer. He'd like to get representatives from each island, along with the heads of DPP and the Mayor's office as a working group. He realizes the Counties may be too different to regulate together though.

    • He will be off for a couple weeks after the session. We will be back in touch at the beginning of June.  

    • Our stance in the conversation: We are rationale people that understand we need to balance the STR issues with the other housing issues on the islands. We do not want to see illegal activity in the community either. We need to work together on this.

    Our takeaway is that we would like to continue to educate our community on why small business accommodations are critical to cultural and regenerative models of hospitality. The state level legislators need to know more about the legal pathways on Maui and show them our enforcement reports from the Department of Planning that clearly show there are not large numbers of unhosted rentals in residential areas on Maui. We need our legislative representative to make data and fact driven decisions.

    Quinlan has indicated he wants to bring several bills from this session back. See the bill summaries below

    Hawaii Island county employee, and hosted stay operator testifies that Bill 84 gives county councils too much control, and gives the hotel industry and lobby high advantage over small local operators

    State Bill Summary

    Here is a quick summary of just some of the bills we watched, testified and organized on:


    • Aimed to tax TVRS at a TAT rate of 25%
    • This punitive bill was supported by the HTA as a way to enforce illegal rentals. 
    • We generated hours of oral testimony and over 400 pages of testimony in opposition
    • Bill is dead for this legislative season
    • This bill can be brought back during next years session


    • Aimed to give counties authority to create laws to phase out legal, permitted, non conforming or otherwise short term rentals in any zoning districts.
    • This bill was touted as a methodology for enforcement for counties.
    • We generated hours of oral testimony and over 395 pages of testimony in opposition
    • Bill is dead for this legislative season
    • This bill can be brought back next year


    • Establishes an Office of Tourism and Destination Management within the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism that encompasses regenerative tourism and best practice destination management, and replaces HTA.
    • We utilized this bill to inform the legislature how crucial it is to have small business accommodations stakeholders on any tourism management committee or group moving forward


    • Establishes the powers, duties, and responsibilities of the destination management agency, including its director and commission and repeals HTA.
    • We utilized this bill to inform the legislature how crucial it is to have small business accommodations stakeholders on any tourism management committee or group moving forward


    • Clarifies county zoning to explicitly authorize counties to adopt zoning regulations that eliminate or amortize land uses or structures.
    • Senate counter part to HB84
    • Bill is dead for this legislative season
    • This bill can be brought back next year


    • Establishes an Office of Tourism and Destination Management within the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism that encompasses regenerative tourism and best practice destination management and replaces HTA.
    • Senate counterpart to HB1375
    • Bill is dead for this legislative season
    • This bill can be brought back next year

    We have created a dashboard to follow State measures here.

    To support these efforts please Join us! Your membership helps support these efforts and the research to inform our legislators.

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