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  • Friday, January 17, 2020 3:31 PM | Jen Russo (Administrator)

    The next Planning and Sustainable Land Use meeting will be held in Molokai on January 28, 2020. 5pm. The committee is putting forth Proposed Bill PSLU-21 CC 17-173 - from Council Vice-Chair 01-14-2020, setting the Molokai cap to Zero. The proposed bill would allow current permit holders to maintain their permits until they expire. Furthermore, certain permits would be eligible for a 90-day renewal. These situations are:

    The permit expires within 90 days of the effective date of this bill; or

    The permit expires no later than 90 days after the effective of the bill and an application for that permit’s renewal was received prior to the effective date of the bill.

    upcoming meeting agenda

    https://www.mauicounty.gov/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/26935

    The bill does not address new permit applications in process. However, aside from the 90-day renewal provisions, no new permits would be allowed on Molokai if the bill goes into effect. 

    Why this is important to you

    Every Molokai STRH permit holder, property manager, and ancillary supplier and tertiary businesses should be at this meeting on January 28 to protect their own interests.  

    It is possible the language on the bill that indicates permits could be denied the renewal process could be challenged in courts.

    Even if your own permit is on Maui not Molokai, please consider sending testimony. We do not want precedents set for community plan capping of short term rentals to zero. Recent comments in the Planning and Sustainable Land Use meetings indicate plans to reduce caps in other regions. Let them know how vacation rentals are important to you and the island.

    I will be sending sample testimony shortly. If you have questions about this proposed bill please feel free to email me. If you wish to reach the Planning and Sustainable Land Use Committee please email PSLU.Committee@mauicounty.us.

  • Saturday, May 04, 2019 2:33 AM | Jen Russo (Administrator)


    Hawaii Senate passed Bill 1292 in a 13 to 12 vote. The bill allows AirBnB to collect TAT and GET taxes on behalf of its hosts. The bill goes to Governor Ige for consideration next. There was a lot of pressure in the senate to pass this bill to access the $46 billion in estimated revenue.

    The governor has turned down this bill before, which does not differentiate between legal and illegal rentals. Some have criticised this bill as a de-facto way of legalizing illegal short term rentals because Airbnb is not required to report taxes with names and addresses. It remains to be seen exactly how that would work for permitted hosts having the service collect their GET and TAT taxes.

    While Oahu struggles with short term rental legislation, Maui has a sanctioned and legit Short Term rental and Bed and Breakfast industry. It may not be in Airbnb’s interests to focus on our legal permitted system, yet they continue to be a leader in the marketing aspect of short term rentals. I would like to see our permitted industry, while not perfect, set as an example for the state.

    For members that utilize AirBnb and want a way to collect taxes directly from guests AirBnb has said they have a tool available that you can turn on in professional hosting tools. More information here: https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/2523/how-do-i-add-occupancy-taxes-to-my-listings.

    Let me know if you utilize this tool and how it is working for you. If you haven't joined Maui Vacation Rental Association yet, please take a moment to become a member we would love to have you!

  • Thursday, May 02, 2019 3:26 PM | Jen Russo (Administrator)

    Yep We Still Have Rat Lungworm

    An unfortunate case of Rat Lungworm was recently reported in Alaska related to a woman who had vacationed in Hawaii. Please continue to keep your guests informed and updated on proper care for consumption of raw veggies. I have included a few hand outs here that may be useful for posting in kitchens or including in welcome packets. The woman in Alaska is reported to be ok. The bottom line is Rat Lungworm is not going anywhere, but it's not the end of the world, or eating fresh vegetables. The best way to deal with it is to keep people educated on safety and how to avoid getting it. I am including some reference material here to assist. If you have any questions let me know.

    For more information and other reference information into the Rat Lungworm see this article: https://mauitime.com/news/health/what-you-need-to-know-about-rat-lungworm-disease-on-maui/

    If you want to be kept up to date on news affecting your guests and you are not a member of Maui Vacation Rental Association please take a moment to join us!


    to download the document above click on the link below:

    produce cleaning.pdf


  • Wednesday, April 24, 2019 1:36 AM | Jen Russo (Administrator)


    Thank you to everyone who took the time to come out to testify and submit written testimony to the Economic Development and Budget Committee. The County Council reported hundreds of testimonies came in. The council members learned a lot about the Short Term Rental and Bed and Breakfast industry through testimony and they have posted their rates for the upcoming year in their April 29, 2019 meeting. The rates came in at $10.75/$1000 for Short Term Rental with an increase of $1.47. Commercial residential came in with a $0.05 increase to $4.60/$1000. While we were unable to curtail any increases, this is much better than their original proposed $15 rate. The council is still taxing Short Term Rentals rigorously. We did see a shift with Hotel rates taking the biggest increase of 49%, but short term rentals are overall creating more revenue for the county real property tax.


    The council increased real real property taxes $36.8 million from FY19 to FY20 for an overall increase of 11.5% over last year's budget. The Mayor had proposed an increase of $19.6million or 6.1% and the Council added an additional $17.4 million to that figure.

    Of that $36.8 million tax increase:

    $22 million is being generated by increases to the short term rentals

    $10.7 million is being generated by increases to the Hotel resort classification

    $2.5 million is being generated by increases to the Residential (second home) classification

    The next step in the process of adoption of these rates is the public hearing at 11:00 am on May 10. The council will hear testimony, but will not change these rates. The Mayor is not likely to veto or change these rates either.


    Between the Time Share, Hotel, Commercial Residential and the Short Term Rental Rates, the Visitor Accommodations sector of our island's industry is generating 48% of the County Real Property Tax budget, or $169.8 Million. Of This the short term rentals and commercial residential combined generates about 30% percent of the real property tax revenue. What this means is that Short Term Rental Homes and Bed and Breakfast operations are vital to our county economy. A fact that we have known all along, but one the county can no longer ignore. I noticed the hotels often threaten in their testimonies that they employ so many people that they cannot suffer high increases in their taxes or large layoffs result. This resonates with council members.

    What I would like to do is gather data from you members, with respect to who we are employing in this healthy tertiary market of property managers, maintenance businesses, cleaning businesses, interior designers, landscapers and the like. We can continue to educate the current council on our industry which is so critical to the health of our community, as they have so boldly indicated by their budget. If you are not a member take a moment to join us and be a part of this membership!


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