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  • Monday, June 01, 2020 7:30 AM | Executive Director (Administrator)

    The planning department is presenting a case for phase out at the next Maui Planning Commission Meeting. The item on the agenda is Resolution 20-27 from Maui County Council proposing to reduce the number of short term rental home permits in each region, capping them at their existing numbers. The Planning Department is using this resolution as a platform to bring up their idea of phasing out the permits. 



    Submit written testimony by 9am Friday June 5 to

    Planning Commission Meeting June 9, 2020, 9am

    To testify and watch the Planning Commission meeting:

    To listen to the meeting or provide oral testimony via phone, dial 1-888-749-9073 and enter code: 663 596 249 

  • Monday, April 27, 2020 6:07 AM | Executive Director (Administrator)

    The Real Property Tax Public Hearing is Wednesday April 29, 2020 at 6PM in the evening.

    The Economic Development and Budget Committee (EDBC) Chair Keani Rawlins-Fernandez proposed a set of tax rates at the budget meeting today. Most of these tax rates are close to last year’s rates and similar to the rates proposed by the Mayor. 

    There are two rates that have changes for Maui Resident homeowners: the owner occupied rate and the rates for B&B homeowners, classified as commercial residential. For the Commercialized residential tax rate, Fernandez has proposed a reduction of about 13% from last years rate of $4.60/$1000 to $4.00/$1000. We have been asking for a reduction to $3.35/$1000 because B&B permit holders are currently forbidden from hosting visitors. For owner occupied, She has proposed a rate reduction of about 28% from last year’s rate of $2.90/$1000 to a proposed rate of $2.10/$1000. 

    B&B permit holders should plan to sign on to Wednesday night’s public hearing and testify that it is not equitable to continue to tax them at a premium from homeowner taxation, if they are not allowed to have guests. We should all urge the council to give us back the ability to use the permits as soon as possible. Testimony from one of your empty B&B rooms might be effective.

    For Hotels, the EDBC has proposed a rate of $10.25/$1000 and this represents a reduction of 7% from last years rate of $11.00/$1000.  Short term rental was the only tax category where an increase over last year's rates has been proposed. The tiered Short term rental rates have been proposed at $10.75/$1000 for the assessed value up to $800,000 (same as last year) and $11.00/$1000 for the assessed value from $800,000 to 1,500,000 and $11.40/$1000 for assessed value in excess of $1,500,000.

    STRH permit holders should give testimony at Wednesday night’s public hearing to express their concern about the fairness of raising short term rental tax rates, while reducing tax rates for hotels. And allowing hotels to continue to operate yet forbidding Short term Rentals from operating. 

    The STRH permit holders should ask for the short term rental rate to be reduced to $8.28/$1000 for the first $800,000 of value, as this is the lowest rate that was published in the notification for the public hearing of tax rates and they could not by law set the rate any lower than this. To make up the difference in revenues, testifiers should propose increasing the Hotel tax rate and give a reason why hotels should be paying a higher tax rate than Short Term Rentals.

    How to sign in to testify:

    The public hearing will be run remotely through a videoconferenceing site on the blue jeans platform. You click here to sign into the meeting

    You can also give oral testimony via phone. To join the meeting by phone call 1-408-740-7256 (US) or 1-888-240-2560 (US toll free), then enter meeting ID 358865836 and passcode 5937.

    The clerk will call out to the testifiers and you will be given three minutes for your testimony. If your connection is lost, the meeting will continue, you can just call in again, or go to the website link again and reload. If you need more information on the process you can also call the county clerk at 808-270-7748 before the public hearing.

  • Thursday, April 16, 2020 11:00 AM | Executive Director (Administrator)

    The proposed Loophole Bill is agenda item CC 20-246 , at the County Council meeting tomorrow.

    This bill turns the use of the condo units in the apartment district into nonconforming uses that are subject to Maui County Code section 19.50.110 C that states:

    C. Nonconforming uses.

    1. A nonconforming use shall not extend to any part of the structure or lot that was not arranged or designed for such use at the time the use became nonconforming. 
    2. Any nonconforming use that is discontinued for twelve consecutive months shall not be resumed.
    3. Work may be done on any structure devoted in whole or in part to any nonconforming use if the work is limited to ordinary repairs, including repair or replacement of walls, fixtures, wiring, or plumbing. Further, the work shall not exceed 50 percent of the current replacement cost of the structure within a twelve-month period, and the floor area of the structure, as it existed at the time the nonconforming use was created, shall not be increased.
    4. No nonconforming use shall be changed to another nonconforming use.

    This would take away the right to short term rent any unit that stops operating for a year. Here is a list of condos the planning department says is not currently doing short term use. This bill changes short term use rights on the planning department's Short Term Occupancy list, also known as Maui's Minatoya list. This is a list of the condos that could be affected.

    Another major issue with this proposed legislation is it is significantly different from the bill that was presented to the three planning commissions last fall . We feel that the planning department should not be misleading the council or the public, and that this bill should be sent back to the planning commission for review.

    For more detailed information on the distinctions between the two bills and the planning departments bait and switch please see this letter from Jason Economou, the Government Affairs Director of the Realtors Association of Maui 

    For updates on this and other news sign up for our newsletter at

  • Wednesday, April 15, 2020 11:17 PM | Executive Director (Administrator)

    This is a heads up. We will be sending sample testimony in a newsletter next week. 

    Public Hearing to be held Wednesday, April 29, 2020, beginning at 6:00 P.M.  



    JULY 1, 2020 TO JUNE 30, 2021


    The foregoing schedule of rates will be considered at the public hearing. The final rates

    for each property class may be fixed within the proposed ranges.

    Meeting Site: Online Only via BlueJeans Events link:

    Meeting will be televised on Akaku: Maui Community Media, Channel 53, and

    livestreamed on



  • Friday, April 10, 2020 8:14 AM | Executive Director (Administrator)

    Under Mayor Victorino’s most recent emergency order, B&Bs and Short term rental homes may only accommodate essential workers. Existing guests may finish out their stay, but no new non essential visitor stays may begin. Owners of lodging where passengers arriving at the airport to stay at a short term rental home or bed and breakfast will be subject to the $5000 penalties.

    This order is in effect until April 30, unless extended.

    The Mayor also indicated that his next move will be to work with car rental agencies to shut rentals down. You can view the county of Maui press conference video here on our facebook page. You can also see the powerpoint slides here.

    Mayor Michael Victorino announced in a press release late Thursday: 

    A night-time curfew pilot program will start at 11 p.m. Friday night, April 10, for Maui County.

    Curfew will be from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The public may not travel outside the home during these hours, unless for urgent medication, medical emergencies or essential business.

    This includes motor vehicles and other wheeled means of transportation.

    “After reflection on the upcoming holiday weekend and concerns in our community, I have decided to mandate a night-time curfew for at least the next three days,” Mayor Victorino. “These are difficult times for all of us and we’re doing everything in our power to stop the spread of COVID-19. We will evaluate the effectiveness of this curfew after this weekend and will continue to make policy changes as needed.”

    Other rule changes effective 11 p.m. Friday, April 10:

    • Only two (2) members of a household may leave home to conduct essential activities, unless other household members absolutely cannot be left home alone (i.e. young children, elderly and persons with disabilities).
    • Businesses are required to limit entrance to two (2) people from one household, unless other household members absolutely must accompany them.
    • Essential businesses with employees that have direct public contact or handle food, shall be required to wear a mask or other face covering. Employers also shall allow employees to voluntarily wear masks or face coverings.
    • Bed and Breakfast homes and Short-Term Rental homes may only operate to provide housing for essential workers.

    To see a copy of the Public Health Emergency Rules click Here .

    In section B item 22 The Emergency Rules Read:

    • “Hotels and motels, to the extent used for lodging: and service providers to hotels and motels that provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation and essential operations of the hotel and/or motel. The operation of Bed and Breakfast Homes and Short Term Rental Homes is permitted but only for purposes of providing housing to exempt personnel defined in Rule 13 or by approval of the Mayor.”

    We also received some further guidance on the subject. These emergency rules go through April 30, 2020. They are primarily intended to stop the flow of incoming visitors, in line with the goal of stopping travel-related coronavirus spread. 

    This rule applies to all short term rentals, any rental less than 6 month. 

    If you have a current existing reservation that is fine. If you are an owner of the rental you can be there, if you are a new purchaser visiting your rental property is fine. If you have a new long term rental that is ok. 

    You may also rent short term to a Hawai’i resident that needs to self-isolate, or any Hawai’i essential workers.

  • Thursday, April 02, 2020 9:55 AM | Executive Director (Administrator)

    We want to know how you are doing in light of the County of Maui COVID19 Shutdowns and quarantine.

    Please take this survey to let us know better what the situation is. This survey is anonymous, and internal. 

    After you complete the survey there will likely be a solicitation message from survey monkey, there is no obligation to participate in that.

    Take The Survey:

  • Saturday, March 21, 2020 9:00 AM | Executive Director (Administrator)

    Governor Ige has called for a mandatory 14 day self quarantine for all arriving visitors and residents beginning March 26, 2020. This means your guests must remain inside their accommodations for 14 days before they are allowed venture out and about on Maui.

    The Governors second supplemental emergency proclamation ( orders all individuals, both residents and visitors, arriving or returning to the State of Hawaiʻi to a mandatory 14-day self-quarantine beginning on March 26, 2020. The mandate -- the first such action in the nation -- applies to all arrivals at Hawaii state airports from the continental U.S. and international destinations and extends to other private and commercial aircrafts.


    "With the majority of Hawaiʻi’s COVID-19 cases linked to travel, it is critical that we further mitigate the spread of the virus by both residents and visitors who are coming from out-of-state. This plan was developed in collaboration with our county mayors and Hawaiʻi’s business, community and visitor industry leaders.

    All visitors and residents arriving through Hawaiʻi’s airports will be required to complete a Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture form that will be distributed onboard their flight. They will retain the form when disembarking the aircraft. Upon arrival, they will go through a checkpoint and present the completed form with a valid identification. Checkpoint staff will validate the form and issue documentation that certifies they cleared the checkpoint. The form also includes information on the mandatory requirements for the 14-day quarantine along with penalties.

    Failure to follow this order is a misdemeanor and punishable by a maximum fine of $5,000, or imprisonment of not more than one year, or both. Enforcement will be handled by each of Hawaiʻi’s four counties."

    The mandate will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, March 26, 2020.

    These actions are extreme, but they will help flatten the curve and lay the groundwork for a quicker recovery. They are asking that everyone to comply with these quarantine orders to help protect Hawaiʻi’s residents and visitors.

    Read the full news release at:

  • Wednesday, March 11, 2020 9:32 AM | Executive Director (Administrator)

    Tamara Paltin referenced this new proposal that she will introduce at next Friday’s Council meeting to reduce the STRH caps to match the number of existing permits. This proposal as written does not account for applications in process.

    NO. 20-194 - COUNCILMEMBER PALTIN. transmitting a proposed resolution entitled "REFERRING TO THE MAUl AND LANAI PLANNING COMMISSIONS A


    This item on the council agenda on Friday proposes to set the cap for all STRH permits at the current number of permits. This proposal would need to be sent to Planning Commissions for comments and then back to County council before any changes could be made to the current caps. 

    A better study of all the current short term rental uses taking place sould be completed, including what the right number of short term rental homes in each area of the island should be.

    Such a study should include analysis of current travel trends, current legal and illegal short term uses taking place and the benefits to Maui of each. Limiting further legal short term rentals could lead to meeting the market demand by illegal operations.

    It may seem that reducing the caps is not that concerning. However, it is important to note that it was a communication item to set the cap for Molokai to 40 permits that ultimately morphed into a cap of zero and non-renewal of the existing 17 permits.

    This item from Councilmember Paltin could possibly have the same effect as the phase-out proposal that we heard about at Friday’s community meeting. 

  • Friday, March 06, 2020 9:22 AM | Executive Director (Administrator)

    On Friday, March 6 at 3 pm at the Kalana Pakui Conference Room at 250 S. High Street, the County of Planning Department hosted a community meeting regarding the potential phase out of Short Term Rental Home #STRH Permits. Their presentation was made to a standing room only packed meeting room. They did one presentation and then cleared the room and did the presentation a second time so that everyone would get a chance to hear it. Both times to a standing room only crowd.

    While the supporters outnumbered opponents 50 to 1, and made some very good arguments during the Q & A, we do not yet know what Director Michele McLean and Planner Jacky Takakura will put out in their report.

    The major concern of the planning department was that they hear the complaint, “We do not know our neighbors” at some of the planning commission meetings when people are applying for permits. Enforcement of illegal operations was another concern.

    However, they did not know exactly how many of these complaints they have actually encountered. In addition, the Planning Department said they were working on enforcement, and their current enforcement report touts success in bringing the number of illegal rentals down. Finally, very few complaints are heard on actual permitted properties.

    You can view the meeting presentation and subsequent Q and A session (3 videos) on the Maui Vacation Rental Association Facebook page: at

    or on our youtube channel:

    At the beginning of Video 2 Councilmember Tamara Paltin explains some of her plans regarding the Minatoya List condos.

    Please take a moment to like our facebook page too!

    We would also like to invite you to our private facebook group forum at

    If there is something to learn here, its that we have to be engaged as a group, and continue to keep informing the public and the planning department that the short term rental industry is a positive influence in our community. That there is value in the network of small businesses that surround the rentals. That there are very little complaints on permitted homes in the community. Short term rentals are not increasing home prices. Short Term Rental Homes are not diminishing affordable housing. In fact, Short Term Rentals are the single biggest contributor to the county’s Affordable Housing Fund with over $2 million for the fiscal year 2019-2020. See the chart below for the breakdowns in all categories.

    Source: Real Property Tax County of Maui

    Please sign up for our newsletter

    You can also read the Maui News article on Friday’s meeting at

  • Thursday, March 05, 2020 1:29 PM | Executive Director (Administrator)

    We are recommending people arrive around 2:30 to be sure they can get a seat. 

    On Friday, March 6 at 3 pm at the Kalana Pakui Conference Room at 250 S. High Street, the County of Planning Department will be hosting a community meeting regarding the potential phase out of Short Term Rental Home #STRH Permits.

    Planning Department 

    Informational Community Meeting

    Friday March 6, 2020 3pm 

    Attend and share your thoughts on Phasing Out Short Term Rental Permits on Maui.

    Send written testimony to for those unable to come.

    If you haven’t sent any comments or testimony here are some that you can cut and paste from and customize for yourself:

    “I use my Maui home part time and as a result it would never be available as a long term rental.”

    There have been a lot of misconceptions about Short Term Rental Homes. Some people think by eliminating them we would get more affordable housing. This is absolutely not true. The facts show most of these homes are second homes and high end homes. Many of the owners come to live on Maui for part of the year, and rent out the property using a permit. Taking away the permit system would not create housing, nor long term rental situations. Homes that would be put on the market would not be in the affordable range. 

    There has never been any complaint regarding the short term rental of my home by any of my neighbors”

    I have heard people say STRH are changing neighborhoods. But we want to know details. Lets get specific. There are lots of neighbors and neighborhoods that also support STRH homes, and like them as their neighbors. They feel these homes are well maintained, and if there is a problem, neighbors know who to contact, because the information is posted. If a home is a second home, getting used by extended family and friends, its use would look like a vacation rental, but neighbors would have no way of knowing who to contact. There are a lot more second homes on Maui, around 8000, then there are short term rental homes, which total 189 on Maui. 

    If your neighbor supports you ask them to write a quick letter or forward this newsletter to them.

    “I provide long term housing on Maui because …”

    If you provide long term housing for a manager or otherwise indicate that

    “I have owned my Maui home since (year purchased) and was issued my STRH permit in (year granted) (if this difference is more than 5 years.)”

    “I have spent $XX,XXX.00 maintaining my Maui home”

    “I have paid $XX,XXX.00 in GET, TAT and HawIi income taxes related to the Short Term rental of my Maui home”

    “I pay $XX,XXX.00 per year in property tax on my Maui home and this amount is double what I would pay if I did not have a permit.”

    “I live on Maui and own a STRH”

    There is a misconception that only mainland or international owners run STRH. There are a lot of Maui people who own these homes. Around 50% of the permit holders live on Maui and run their operation from Maui. Many Short Term Rental permit holders also have long term renters on their properties, or provide long term housing for some of their employees. Eliminating these permits will probably eliminate those long term housing situations for Maui residents.

    In addition please see the testimony from former President of Maui Vacation Rental Association, Tom Croly, it is a great overall history of the industry and has a lot of points that you may be interested in and can utilize.

    “The short term rental home (STRH) ordinance was established into Maui County code in May 2012. It was the second piece of legislation, after the B&B ordinance, that was designed to help regulate an already well established part of the visitor industry consisting of various forms of short term rental uses taking place in single family homes in Maui County. The need for this regulation was recognized in the late 1990’s when operations making these uses began applying for Conditional use permits and the planning department found themselves overwhelmed with the processing of individual Conditional use permit, each that would need to go before planning commission and full Council for approval. 

    In 2005 the Realtors association of Maui commissioned the Kauaian Institute to do a comprehensive study of the existing short term rental industry in Maui County. This study revealed that at that time there were 816 single-family home properties that were making short term rental uses. And these 816 properties were operating a total of 1095 rental units. The study did not attempt to differentiate between properties where the owner lived and properties that were strictly rentals where the owner did not reside.

    When the B&B ordinance was crafted in 2007 and 2008, a cap of 400 permits was established. That cap was expected to make enough B&B permits available to meet the existing demand for this use by the traveling public that was being met by the existing owner occupied B&B operations. Since there was an understanding that owner occupied B&Bs were only one segment of these operations, the cap of 400 permits island wide, and the distribution of these permits established in each community plan area was calculated by the proportions that had been identified in the Kauaian Institute report. This number of permits represented approximately half of the properties that had been identified by the report.

    After the B&B ordinance had been established and the planning department and Council began their work on the Short Term Rental home ordinance, a cap was established for STRH permits at 400, that along with the 400 B&B permits would provide enough permits to fill the total market demand that had been established by the Kauaian institute report. Later the cap for STRH permits in Hana was reduced from 48 to 30 and in 2019 the cap for STRH permits in Paia-Haiku was reduced from 88 to 55. Leaving a current cap of 349 STRH permits for Maui Island.

    During the promulgation of both the B&B and STRH ordinances several community members expressed opinions that if these uses were allowed, everyone on the island would choose to make these uses because they were so profitable. Twelve years later it is very clear that such fears were completely unfounded, as today there are currently only 152 Bed and Breakfast permits and 226 Short term rental home permits. The planning department estimates that there are still 100-200 unpermitted operations, but this total of 478 to 578 is well short of the 800 properties that were identified in 2005 and well below the inflammatory estimates of thousand and thousands from those opposed to this use based on unfounded hyperbole.

    It is true that Maui County has between 4000 to 8000 off-island owned second homes that are neither permitted short term rentals nor long term rentals, whose owner’s have shown no interest in obtaining an STRH permit that comes with lots of regulations and doubles owners the property tax bill. These second homes are often erroneously identified by neighbors as short term rentals because when their part time owners use them or when they allow their friends and families to use them, they may look like short term rentals. But these second homes are not subject to quiet hours, occupancy and parking restrictions, and these second homes are not managed by nearby professional property mangers as Permitted short term rentals are. 

    Assertions have been made by uniformed individuals that the availability of short term rental home permits has driven up the costs of housing on Maui. Such assertions have no basis in fact. When the fact is that of the 10,104 single family homes that have been sold since 2010, only approximately 50 of them have been granted a short term rental home permit. (Less than 1/2 of 1 percent) These 50 home purchases that later were granted STRH permits most certainly did not set the market value for the other 10,054 homes sold during that period. STRH permits have never been transferable. And in March of 2018 the STRH ordinance was amended to require an applicant for a STRH permit have owned the property for at least 5 years before becoming eligible to make application for a permit. Therefore any future STRH permits could never have any influence on market prices at all. 

    Additional unfounded assertions have been made that short term rental homes are causing assessed values to increase and therefore placing a greater tax burden on residents, when the total opposite is the truth. When a property sells that had an STRH or B&B permit associated with it, the real property tax department flags that sale and does not use it for a comparison for assessed values of non permitted homes in the area. 

    However, properties where an STRH permit has been granted pay property tax at a rate that is approximately double the rate that they would be subject to without such a permit and four times the rate that a resident homeowner of the same property would pay. So STRHs actually bring down the tax burden to residents. As point of fact, last year all properties classified as short term rental, including the 11,450 condos in apartment and hotel zoning and the 229 short term rental homes, paid a total of $101 million in property tax. Compared that to the $34 million paid by all 26,000 Maui county homeowner’s. Yes, 11,679 short term rentals paid three times the total property tax paid by all 26,120 Maui resident homeowners. Short term rental homes actually lower the tax burden to Maui resident homeowners.

    Finally, assertions have been made that permitted short term rental homes have negatively impacted neighborhoods. However a review of the Requests for Service (RFS) filed on the 229 permitted short term rental homes does not support such an assertion. While some members of the community have regularly come forward to oppose any and all short term rental and bed and breakfast permits with assertions of change in neighborhood or fears of who might be staying in a particular home. None have ever substantiated those assertions with any evidence. And while it is true that some neighborhoods in Maui are made up primarily of off island owned properties, there is no evidence that the availability of a permit created any change of the property uses or demographics of ownership of those properties. For example many oceanfront properties have been owned by off island owners for many years and while some of those owners have come forward to apply for, and be granted STRH permits, the majority of oceanfront properties have been owned and continue to be owned by off island owners, used strictly as second homes and the availability of an STRH permit has not changed that situation.

    It is a short sighted and unsubstantiated idea that elimination of the Short term rental ordinance and non renewal of current short term rental permits would lead to any better regulation of this use or availability and lower price of residential housing on Maui. While it is well documented that elimination of the permits for this use would result in less real property tax revenues, less State General excise tax and Transient accommodation tax revenue, less oversight of rentals, and would leave the market demand for such accommodations solely to the underground unregulated segment of the market. 

    The Short term rental home ordinance is serving its purpose of regulating this use in Maui County. It is not perfect and requires considerable effort both on behalf of the permit applicants and the County. But Overall it has much higher compliance rate than that of building permits for home and condo renovations. Yet, no one is proposing abandoning building permits, although some have called for moratoriums on issuing some types of building permits. As was demonstrated in the 2005 Kauaian Institute study, Short term rentals will exist with or without a permitting process to regulate them. But without such a process, they will all be unregulated and perhaps less safe for visitors and the State and county will lose out of hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenues.”

    See this info in the newsletter form:


    Recent articles Maui News articles on Short Term Rentals:

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