All of these condos were approved by the County of Maui and have been operated as vacation rentals as approved by the by-laws of each condominium AOAO. You cannot all of a sudden try and reverse a decision like this as you do not have the authority.
This proposal in no way helps solve the affordable housing problem. on Maui which should have been regulated under strict controls years ago similar to what they did in Aspen, Colorado. Just limit the amount of appreciation that a condo can have every year so that the next buyer can afford it.
For example, how does a Mana Kai condominium selling at 1.8 million dollars now become a long term rental at an affordable monthly rate.
If you want to increase your tax revenue then you should be allowing simple gaming like scratch offs, powerball and other lotteries. The legalization of marijuana has provided huge tax revenues for many states. I know this is off the subject, but it correlates to the shallow thought process whereby the elimination of vacation rentals will help with affordable housing.
I have been a resident of Maui since 1982 and the property taxes are ridiculously low and should be raised for all residents.
I could go on and on ,but you need to research how other counties on the mainland have successfully solved the affordable housing problem and not start meddling with the vacation rental business that has operated successfully for years.
David Cudlipp Kumulani Vacations and Realty, Inc.
We are retired Maui vacation rental owners that depend on their income to live here and we stridently oppose your proposed change. It will do nothing to assure more affordable local housing. Why? Because the prices are set by the marketplace and although these units might become available, they won't be affordable. The entire issue of renters being priced out of the market is happening everywhere. The only helpful solution is probably rent control and there are no provisions in place to remedy the affordability issue. Your proposed changes will however cut TAT and GE revenues substantially and be a giveaway to the local hotel industry that take most of their income off island. It will also serve to reduce property values as these units become less desirable. This ordinance is misguided, will have a negative impact and should be voted down!
November 1, 2021
Aloha Planning Commission and Maui County Council Members:
I am writing this letter in support of the proposed moratorium on visitor accommodations on Maui. This moratorium is a crucial step toward remediating the current unregulated over-tourism we are seeing here.
The Maui Island Plan suggests limiting the number of visitors to approximately 1/3 the number of residents in order to preserve our environment, infrastructure, and quality of life for residents--all of which would improve the visitor experience as well.
The year 2019 was already a year of uncontrolled growth, fueled by the tourism industry. Promises were made by leaders during the early part of the pandemic to improve on the tourism experience for both visitors and residents. Residents were promised that the goal would be to decrease the number of tourists while protecting the islands. Since October of 2020, those promises have been completely forgotten by our leaders, who proudly announce that the goal of reaching 2019 numbers has been met and now exceeded.
The current volume of tourists we were seeing pre-pandemic and now, in 2021, during the pandemic, is a threat to the health, safety and quality of life of the residents of Maui, our environment and wildlife.
Our island resources are very limited. Our inadequate sewage treatment, water, and landfills are not meant for this level of use. We just finished months of a of a severe water shortage, yet only Upcountry residents were affected, not tourists. While my family’s yard dried up and died due to not watering it, the hotels are literally sucking up water as if there is no restriction. While sewage is discharged into our oceans, tourists are overcrowding our beaches and cruelly abusing our wildlife (I am thinking about honu and dolphins right now). Our fishing industry is endangered by the abuse the ocean environment is enduring.
On Maui, tourists do not stay in the tourist areas, but drive all over the island, causing huge traffic congestion—and this is despite the rental car shortage. Tourists don’t even think twice about using up resources meant for residents, such as UHauls! I have seen horrific pictures of the road to Hana being blocked by tourists who choose to park on the road, blocking traffic, because of lack of parking.
Residents are literally being told that we do not count and that the tourism industry is all-powerful. Our mayor has not showed any support of controlling tourism, including vetoing the last proposed moratorium for south and west Maui and vetoing the affordable housing bill. He has constantly communicated in a very condescending way to residents, very publicly blaming residents for COVID spread rather than acknowledging that it had to have come in by travel; he has called residents “little children who refuse to listen” when we were concerned about the delay in vaccinations here; and he goes out of his way to please the big money brought in by the tourism industry and mainland investors. He has made it clear that residents are second class citizens to tourists.
Residents here sacrifice a great deal financially to live here and deserve to be able to enjoy the beaches, hikes and parks. Instead, there is no room for residents on any of these. The majority of residents here do not depend at all on the tourist industry—yet all of us are made to sacrifice for it. For me, it is about more than a financial sacrifice, as this is not only my birthplace but also that of my ancestors. I am trying my best not to chased out by greedy leaders who put short-term profit first.
Our economy needs to be diversified. Our children need to be taught skills that will help them to succeed in society, rather than just to serve tourists. We need a moratorium on future visitor accommodations while solutions can be implemented, including leadership that supports resident lives over the tourism industry.
I appreciate the members of the Maui County Council greatly. With few exceptions, you are the leaders who put residents and the ‘aina first.
Kai Duponte, MSW
I oppose this PSLU-34 CC21-422. Such a long term to terminate! It’s not right! Jobs would be lost. I agree with the person who owns one to be able to do short term rentals.
How many hotels are being converted to affordable housing? If the County feels they have the right to eliminate apartment condos from short term rentals, shouldn't an equal number of hotels share in this bill? If this bill passes, Maui County will eliminate thousands of jobs from the hospitality industry, the restaurant industry, the commercial industry, the real estate industry, the small businesses, the food truck industry, the construction industry and so on and so on! Not everyone who comes to Maui County can afford a $2500 room at the Four Seasons or the Hyatt. Not everyone who comes to Maui County can afford to eat at their expensive restaurants. We no longer live in a world where visitors to any vacation destination want to live and eat in a hotel. Hotels force outrageous prices for rooms, food, parking and events. If this Bill passes, foreclosures will become rampant as many buyers only purchased these 7000 plus condos with the potential to rent for short term occupants. This is not a new AirBNB or VRBO model either. Many of these condos have been renting this way for decades well before the internet. Families and communities have been coming and visiting these same condos every year for decades. The wealthy hotels cannot eliminate the middle class to lower class condos in the name of affordable housing. Stop allowing the development of hotels and timeshares! Start giving the County permits to build affordable housing.
I have owned my Wailea Ekahi condo since 2000. I purchased it with the understanding that short term rental was permitted. The first ten years we owned it, we kept it as second home. Because Maui taxes rose so high and property values rose so high, we decided to put it into rental in 2011, managed ably by Destination Resorts. We occupied 4 months, and rent the remaining months.
Your proposal does permitsus to continue rentals until we sell, but steals property values from us. For who will want to buy our units at market value (if we need to sell) when it would come with the limitations you are proposing? My unit currently cost me $10K a month ($5K mortgage, $2.5K AOAO dues, $2.8K property taxes). No one would pay $10K a month to long-term rent; there is no way this could be considered even remotely affordable without short term rental income to offset. First Bank of Hawaii has my mortgage; they can't be happy about this either.
If we were to pass the property to our children, so they could continue Maui as a second home for the next generation,
But it would be like giving them an albatross, which would need to remain empty during all the periods they cannot enjoy its use personally.
Please do not pass this legislation; it gains no affordable housing and steals value from current landholders.
I do not own an apartment rental unit and I understand why communities don’t like short term rentals. I do think a lot of tax income would be lost and many units are not suitable for long term rentals. Also, many of these units are used part of time by family or friends of the owners so they cannot be used for long term rentals. It seem a lot of the complaints about short term rentals would be solved by strict enforcement of stated rules and current laws. Sterling
This is not part of the solution! Find another way, Maui will lose too much tax dollars. So over government overreach. People buy a property with an understanding of what they are and are not allowed to do with their property. To suddenly “change the rules” is a violation of their ownership rights and will most certainly result in a major loss of value, when they go to sell and it is no longer zoned a short-term property.
We purchased the property in early 2016 as a vacation home with the intention of renting it when we aren’t able to use it. I have filed a monthly tax return for both GE and TA taxes every month ever since. My property taxes have gone up every year since we purchased.
As a Maui condo owner, I am opposed to this proposal. If the government forces me to make my condo a long term rental, I'll be forced to simply take it off the market or rent it at my break even point of approximately $3,000 per month. Either senerio doesn't help solve the issue of affordable housing. The county will only lose tax dollars. Your consideration of my opinion is appreciated.
Phasing out vacation rentals in Maui would do so much harm to the economy derived from visitors to Maui. Not only do vacation rentals help bring more visitors to Maui, the TYPES of visitors who stay at a vacation rental home instead of a hotel are QUALITY visitors who treat Maui like their home. They come to Maui to "feel at home" and they are more likely to be respectful of the beauty of Maui. These tourists want to have a more "local" experience instead of being like a tourist.
In addition, as a traveler myself, I have found that special places like Maui benefit from travelers like me who want to GIVE BACK to the local community. Why take away this method of travel, which will hurt travelers and locals alike?
As an owner, I agree - we need to abide by the rules AND pay the respective fees (which further supports the economy), which I do, so we owners CONTRIBUTE to the community.
Another point is that by be eliminating transient accommodations, the hotels would have the ability to raise rates, which could further hinder travel to Maui! And for those travelers who cannot afford the high hotel rates, they actually still travel to Maui using STRV's and also infuse other capital into the community.
Please do not phase out transient accommodations in Maui, especially in this time of need to rebuild the economy. Thank you!
Does anyone really believe that 40 year old oceanfront concrete buildings can be part of the solution to Maui's affordable housing dilemma? All it would be is a boon to the hotel industry that has battled for years to stifle the TVR industry so that they can jack up room rates, increase occupancy and send more profits home to their shareholders. The County will lose millions of dollars of revenue that they were planning on to build more affordable housing. Instead these buildings will become more stressed due to shoreline erosion and falling occupancy and thousands of owners who made good-faith property purchases will be denied the ability to supplement their incomes and hundreds of tradespeople who serve these properties will lose their jobs. A sad day indeed for Maui.
Gee Whiz.....another useless exercise and more stress to us by the Maui gummint....
Do they not know that the people that rent from us transient providers do so because they cannot afford the room charges at our local hotels.?
And...most important, stay at a mini home usually, with magnificent ocean views and easy access that your have to pay a fortune for at any of the Maui hotels that have similar attributes.?
Reminds me when the Maui gummint wanted to have our local RE agents collect our rents, take out the Transient and GE taxes, and send us the remainder.
The local RE agencies just about had a stroke, for they would have to add many people to handle these kind of transactions, with no benefit to the RE company, so with the rising up of the RE companies on Maui, thankfully this latter day device of private imposition happily died a quick death.
Larry Burke, Owner
Kana'i a nalu
250 Hauoli Street
I will start by saying my husband and I own a legal oceanfront vacation rental in Maui. We purchased the property in early 2016 as a vacation home with the intention of renting it when we aren’t able to use it. I have filed a monthly tax return for both GE and TA taxes every month ever since. My property taxes have gone up every year since we purchased. The amount of revenue our rental (and all the other oceanfront rentals in Maui) provides to the county of Maui is astronomical. Our unit has NEVER been a long term rental since it was built in 1979. The idea that oceanfront rentals are taking away affordable housing is simply untrue. If the ability to rent out my unit is taken away, I will be forced to sell. Between taxes, HOA payments, mortgage and utilities, my break-even is $3500/month. So I would need to rent my one bedroom for a minimum of $3,500+ a month to a long term tenant. Is that considered affordable? To whom? Stripping property owner’s rights is not the answer. Affordable housing isn’t obtained by ripping our properties out of our hands, it is obtained by building more affordable housing in the inland areas. Mahalo for your consideration.
I am in adamant opposition to this proposal for the following reasons:
Lack of "affordable" housing is not just a Maui problem - it is a nationwide problem - right along with homelessness. How are other cities dealing with this?
Current owners of STVR's have paid top dollar for their investment properties; eliminating STVRs is a "taking" of property without compensation, opening the door for class-action lawsuits against the county. Property values will plummet, along with property tax revenue.
STVR's pay an extraordinary amount of taxes, from higher property taxes than residents, to conveyance fees from property sales, to the TAT and GET taxes that, effective Nov. 1, 2021, will now total 17.42%.
Instead of eliminating STVR's, dedicate that new 3% TAT tax to building affordable housing and bonding against estimated revenue to increase available state and federal grants dedicated to building affordable housing and needed infrastructure.
If STVR's are eliminated, so too will be the GET taxes collected from visitors. Visitors support many local businesses, from mom&pop restaurants, small car dealers, local farms, fishing/boating tours, etc. What will that eliminate from the County budget? Exactly how much money will Maui County lose? How will this affect local residents who depend on tourism? Eliminating STVR's will cause job losses in the rental management industry, housekeepers, maintenance workers, etc.
Eliminating STVRs is viewed by many as a gift to the hotel industry, who has lobbied for years against STVRs. Eliminating/reducing STVRs will eliminate healthy competition and exacerbate the favoritism shown to hotels (i.e., during covid shutdown, hotels had property assessments lowered due to less occupancy; STVRs had their assessments raised 25%)
Maintenance fees for condominium units will not go away. Those in themselves will be cost-prohibitive for both new low-moderate income homeowners and renters. Reducing maintenance will result in rundown complexes. Older complexes will impose assessments to fund needed repairs (pipes, roofing, termite treatments, spalling repairs, etc.).
Condos have been around for a long time and available for anyone to purchase; its simply that many locals don't want to live in older condos, particularly STVR’s with limited parking and storage capacity.
What will replace the tourist dollars if visitor numbers are reduced? Diversifying the economy is a priority, but it will take many years to accomplish that.
Having purchased a legal property in Maui 5 years ago and using it for personal use as well as short term rental purposes I oppose this proposal. I purchased my condo under the expectation that I would be able to use this condo in a manner I choose. In the past 5 years I have paid my TAT and GET monthly and paid a significant amount more on my property tax than owners who do not use their properties in this way. By going the honest and legal route I am now being potentially punished? For my 1 property alone I have generated 20,000-24,000$ per year in state taxes. That is approximately $125,000 in the five years I have owned. This is not including the property taxes. What was the purpose in my making these payments if suddenly the right to use of my property can be changed. Where will the state make up the loss of this kind of substantial revenue. This revenue extends beyond just what I pay but also what my guests pay to local businesses during their stay. There needs to be a more logical process implemented in managing the island housing issues, one that does not only fall at the feet of law abiding owners.
Aloha. Sometimes good intentions result in proposals that have unintended consequences and the unintended consequences can have devastating results. Such is the case with this proposed resolution. It is my hope that the council will be open to hearing testimony from many educated and experience experts who will outline the negatives such as decreased property values, loss of local jobs from small business which service guests of TVRs, loss of real estate tax revenues which provide the greatest financial support to affordable house development, failure to actually solve the affordable housing needs of the county, and the very real threat of a massive lawsuit by the owners of legal vacation rentals who will realize substantial losses in the investments they have made over the years. A resolution such of this makes the County of Maui look like a banana republic government. The long term financial implications are dire. The only benefactors should this resolution pass would be the large hotels.