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Aloha, I believe that there needs to be fair regulations that take into account the individual situations and issues and the current approach does not address either. That said, so much energy is being put into a small group of legally permitted short term rentals whose impact is negligible to the impact of the thousands of illegally operating rental homes. If more energy is put into regulating illegal rental operations it will open way more affordable living opportunities than taking away legal short term rentals and their contribution, revenue streams of taxes and fees to the county … not to mention jobs for community members. I would ask that the county take a more reasonable look at plans that will address the community and the bigger scope and solution to the issues and involve community members to create a clearer view of both the problems and solutions. We need to take a step back and take a deeper look at sustainable solutions with data driven information.
Please do not change the short term rental numbers. There is nothing wrong with the current caps al law. You really have to stop reducing our property rights.
Hello, Tourism definitely needs to be controlled. But I don't see how limiting a few short-term rentals will make a difference when there is no regulation on the thousands of time shares and hotel rooms on the island. There should be a comprehensive program that includes all visitor housing, not just homes.
I support having a cap on STR's. However, ALL STR should be made to have permit!! Get STR's out of Hotel Zone!! Those homes and condos are ment for Long-Term rental NOT Short-Term. STR's the majority of STR's are not even owned by locals. Out of state and out of country are benefiting and are taking away from actual Hotels and Timeshares, where tourist are meant to be staying at. Take ALL STR that do not need a permit due to exemption in Hotel zone or Minatoya list. They should NOT be exempt! Apartments and homes do NOT belong in Hotel zone and should NOT be expemt, and ALL the STR's should have a permit and pay for the County Planning Dept to process and give out! Supply and Demand would equal more Long-term rentals for locals at a lower cost and tax STR's higher to assist the community in Maui with much needed programs. They should ALL be permitted and be classified as a STR in Real Property Tax and pay a higher tax, they are making a high profit, help out the community! Please bring this issue up more often!
Hello. I strongly oppose. My family has owned our little condo for more than 20 years. But between property taxes and maintenance fees we have to cover more than $2000 a month to be able to keep it. Vacation rentals allow us to be able to pay those fees, keep our condo up-to-date, and for it to be a beautiful place that serves our family for generations to come. I recognize that residents may get tired of all the guests, but even though I don’t live on Maui year around, this home has been a very important part of my life and our family story. It would be very sad if we were not able to hang onto that for the future.
Beyond that this is private property. And there has to be some limits to how much our elected officials and local governments are getting involved to how our private property can be used.
I respect my local authorities, but they should not be able to dictate who I allowed to be guests in my house.
If we don’t support legal short term rentals others will do it illegally. This is exactly what we don’t need.
Unsafe, unregulated, non tax paying.
Think about it!
Restriction of STR's is a move in the wrong direction. People come to the island and involve themselves in the local communities, spending their money in area stores, restaurants and various experiences whether on the beaches or up country. Those dollars are utilized on the island paying for people's wages that all the ancillary services that are provided by having visitors come and stay in places other than hotels. We all know the hotel model is to keep the visitor's on their property the best they can so the money doesn't flow outside of the hotel property. The hotels provide jobs, undoubtedly, but the way the money is spread around the community is not like it is when visitors are staying in and visiting the local community businesses. As has been pointed out by others, those hotel profits often times leave the island and in some cases go to countries other than the U.S. We do not think the hotel industry needs more protection from the Maui government. Help the small property owners and local business owners who need the visitors dollars in their community.
Tamara Paltin, Chair
Maui County Planning and Sustainable Land Use Committee
200 South High Street
Wailuku HI 96793
Dear Committee Chair Tamara Paltin and Planning and Sustainable Land Use Committee Members,
Thank you for the opportunity to testify on PLSU 67. I support regulation of STR home numbers in Maui County but with certain caveats, which is why I chose the position of neutral .
As indicated in the 6/4/21 report from the Planning Department, many folks testified about the caps and the need for more information in order to make an informed decision on what to change them to. There are a number of points to make that others have mentioned.
This is my summary of benefits to the local economy which I believe applies to the number of permits existing, and those in process.
- Property taxes have increased to the point of STR being the largest contributor to the housing fund. The county should consider the tax revenue generated by STRs when making any decisions related to STRs.
- In addition to property taxes, GET and TAT taxes are collected by Homeaway/VRBO and amounts are identified exact and clearly in the summary of guest fees.
- Homeaway/VRBO now offers a service through a 3rd party (Avalara) who files taxes electronically with the state. This saves the STR owner time and provides for monthly or quarterly taxes to be paid. They also file year end reconciliations for GET and TAT. I signed up for this service.
- Some of the previous comments applied to Oahu and not Maui
- Local monthly employment of different professional trades include:
Landscaping, Landscape maintenance, Landscape repair, and significant work by licensed contractors such as retaining wall construction
Weekly swimming pool and spa service and repair
Window washing service, pressure washing
Carpet and upholstery cleaning
Appliance repair and purchase. Home Depot does not stock appliances. They must be purchased locally
General home repair and maintenance
STR are also used for Maui residents in cases of insurance loss, such as flood repair
These trades are a short list of contributions to local small businesses which have been mentioned in previous comments
I just want to make sure that any and all current permits, including the ones that may be under renewal are included in the counts in the cap plus pending applications. We don’t want the cap to be set below the number of people already operating legally.
The permitted STR homes are a legitimate part of our visitor industry. This ordinance and permitting system has proven to be crucial in how we keep these numbers managed. Right now they equal less than half a percent of Maui’s households.
The caps that were set for Short term rental permits in each area of the island were not set arbitrarily. They were carefully set after a comprehensive study in 2005 showed where the existing single family homes were being used for short term rental uses. As recommended by the Maui Planning commission, this study should be updated to determine if the existing permitted short term rental homes are meeting the current demand. Because if the caps are set artificially low, then the demand will be met by unpermitted rentals and the State and County will lose out on the significant taxation generated by legal short term rental homes.
The STRH original caps have already been reduced from 48 to 30 in Hana and from 88 to 55 in Paia Haiku. There certainly is no benefit to lowering these caps any further. The permits that have been granted in the past 3 years have only been granted to families who have owned their Maui homes for many years and where the availability of a short term rental home permit has provided the only means to keep the home in the family after life events have required the property owners to move, or leave their properties to their children after death.
We also recognize a very real issue that this does not address, which are the second homes in neighborhoods that appear as illegal vacation rentals. This continues to grow as Maui continues to be one of the hottest seasonal homes markets in the nation year after year. We have seen a record year of home prices increase and not a single one of them was sold as a short term rental home.
These homes can certainly look like they are vacation rentals when used by visiting friends and family, and these visitors staying in these homes contribute to our visitor counts on Maui. However these properties are not paying taxes at the rate legally permitted properties do, and do not pay GE or TAT taxes.
Rather than eliminating permits while we are still way below our cap, we should be focusing on how to eliminate the illegal vacation rental industry for good.
Thank you for considering my testimony.
Keep residential neighborhoods for long-term rentals. Residents do not want to be overrun by tourists in our own communities and safe places we call home. Many who are using their properties for STHR are not addressing how it could be affecting the local residents within those neighborhoods. What happened to being considerate neighbors? Aloha is certainly missing and profits are being put over as more important than anything else. With the housing market hitting new heights and more vacancies of homes become available it has become an attraction for investors who have their eye on benefitting in our neighborhoods by tapping into the inflated tourism rates and operating STHR. This is why it is so important to put a cap!
I am a Wailuku resident, born and raised on Maui. I am in support of the limits. There needs to be a shift toward policies that demonstrate putting residents first. Our neighborhoods should be neighborhoods of people of who know each other as part of a community. To subject our homes and families to a revolving door of strangers who come and go does little to help us with a sense of community. Short term rental locations can have drivers who don't care, vacationers who go in and out at all times, and a kind of rudeness and carelessness that many don't want a resident neighbor to be - let alone strangers that come and go throughout a year.
I oppose lowering the caps of PERMITTED short term homes. Someone stated this statement below that is relating to Oahu, not Maui. Maui has permitting and tax collection for these permits. When a permit renews, the permit holder must submit for a ta clearance to renew. I feel our County has not been truthful regarding the taxes collected from these limited number of properties, about 200, mostly over million dollar homes.
According to Hawaii's Department of Taxation, many LEGAL short-term rentals are not paying TAT/GET due to a lack of effective tax collection enforcement and a lack of coordination between state and county agencies resulting in millions of dollars in unpaid tax revenue. Source: Honolulu Star Advertiser, 06/30/21, https://www.staradvertiser.com/2021/05/17/hawaii-news/state-tax-crackdown-garners-millions-in-unpaid-vacation-rental-taxes/ NOT HERE ON MAUI
If Maui does not have enough money to effectively enforce illegal short term rentals they should look no further than the $142 million dollars in real property tax that short term rentals raised for this fiscal year. Vacation rentals have brought in more tax dollars than any other industry on Maui. This year 37% of the real property tax revenue is from vacation rentals and that goes directly to funding the budget that this council determines.
Right now Hotel Wailea and Marriott are hiring houskeepers starting at $18.44 and offering the work as "seasonal". Yet, several vacation rental cleaning companies are offering several full time benefit positions starting at $25-35 an hour. You only need to go to a job posting website like indeed.com and search to see these. There is no real evidence that hotels are the only ones offering meaningful employment on the island. Not everyone wants to work at a hotel property. People want choices.
In recent planning and sustainable land use meetings and community planning meetings people have indicated they want walking distance, low commute jobs. Having everyone work at hotels is the opposite of that for the island.
Visitors staying in vacation rentals and condos spend more and stay longer, says the data from HTA for 2019. It makes sense, Hotels tend to want their visitors to stay on property and spend, shop and eat on property. Vacation rentals encourage people to support small businesses around the area, supporting local restaurants, local gift shops and activity companies. In fact vacation rental visitors spent a whopping $321 million on food and drink in 2019 and Maui County Vacation Rental visitors generated the largest amount of visitor spending of all the counties in the state in 2019 with $1.5 Billion.
Hotels and large resorts take all there profit off island, even to different Countries! China! Japan! Think of them as the Amazon of accommodations, and think of these small business that are mostly locally owned. Supporting small businesses should be what Hawaii should be focusing on.
A concerned resident who votes
no more STR!! we have more than needed already! please no more!! our economy cannot support more, our water, our aina, everything is being abused by this system!! just say NO MORE STR!! mahalo, pamela campbell
We oppose limiting private use condo rentals in the county. We own 2 condos and it is a significant source of our retirement income!
Your fixation on the tiny number of vacation rentals on Maui sure looks like the commission is selling out to the Hotel industry. Local residents and land owners supply short term vacation rentals at a better price and offer more amenities than most hotels offer. So Hotels can't compete, Of course they want your protection which is unfair to everyone else including visitors. Supporting Hotels at everyone else's expense is a sell out to large, greed-based Corporations headquartered outside of Maui while you stifle small local business owners who live here and are trying to get by on their rental income (after a year without any because of CV19!). PLEASE don't sell out to the hotels, it's survival of the fittest and if they can't compete without your assistance then they should lower their prices or sell to someone else who will and go back to the mainland.
My wife and I have lived on Maui for over 25 years both our children were born and raised here. We have a short term rental home that was once our own family home for 14 years. We decided to move out of it when the short term rental permit was available. We run it as a small business and it provides local families with jobs as well as allows us to give our kids a good education on the island. Our short term rental home as been a blessing and if we were not able to continue its operation we would have to sell our current home and move back into the rental. The home pays five times the tax rate as when we lived in it. That also helps pay for many of the jobs in the county including my full time job as a firefighter here on Maui. We oppose a bill to limit or cap existing legal permitted vacation rental homes. We have never had a complaint for neighbors and keep very strict rules for noise and parking. Only six people are allowed for our permit. This allows families with grandparents and kids to stay in a nice home for a vacation. They could never afford multiple hotel rooms to stay in a hotel as a family. The planning department needs to look elsewhere for affordable housing. There are only 200 short term rental permits in Maui county. More than 50% of those are owned by local residents. Our rental home will allow our kids to come back to Maui after college and work for us and manage our rental for us as my wife and I retire. Please do not eliminate these permits they are needed by local residents.
We own a vacation rental in Maui and oppose limiting the number of vacation rentals. Tourism is vital to Hawaii's economy and this proposal only benefits the big hotels.
Short term rentals of condos is not the problem. Neighborhood? Understood. The short term rentals are small middle class families who appreciate the culture, support the local economy, and have been repeatedly taxed to pay for the operations of local government. We are not big companies. The families who stay in our condo are coming for a once in a lifetime experience. They have “I love Maui” pictures at their desk. These are the people you want as tourists. We recommend locals owners restaurants, stores etc. the hotel chains are powerful but we are just families who love Maui. Please look elsewhere for relief from heavy tourism.
Covid crushed our savings. Maui is temporarily overcrowded as there are very few places to travel due to the US high vaccination rate. In the coming years this will go back to normal. If we make long term decisions it will hurt the economy when things go back to normal.
We have talked with many locals, and they are happy to have tourists back spending money (west maui). Please let this sit until travel world wide goes back to normal and Maui is back to normal.
Average Middle class family who took a chance on Maui
We support Maui through the GET/TA taxes. For the past twenty years, we have rented our vacation Cond to appreciative guests who have returned often. It is necessary to keep renting our condo in order to sustain its ever rising costs.
With the COVID-19 shutdown, we have had to dig deep into our savings to keep our condo afloat.
Please consider the owners who have helped make Maui a destination for many to enjoy. More restrictions or an inability to rent is extremely burdensome. Thank you for your consideration. We all need to share our island and the Aloha spirit.
I write to urge NOT to lower the current number of operating permits any further. Here are a few major points.
- Short term rentals in Maui County support our local economy by providing jobs, income and opportunities for local people to earn a living wage in an expensive economy.
- Because short term rentals are spread throughout the County, it keeps traffic patterns free and flowing (rather than bottle necking) in high tourist areas.
- When residents make money on the island, that money stays on the island rather than going to corporate headquarters out of state.
- Offering different types of accommodations for different types of travelers, makes Maui a desirable vacation locale for the majority of travelers--no matter what type of accommodation they choose--it keeps our economy strong.
Thank you for your support.