I oppose the STR phase out. It's wrong to take people's property and decide what is best for any homeowner. Creating more affordable housing is a noble effort but stripping long-held property rights from existing owners is not the way to achieve it, many of these properties have been around 40 years. During the pandemic there were no tourists, nor renters. Maui should continue to review or stop new hotels/timeshares from going in.. Many STR’s are not rentals they’re second homes to many people and their families. Many of these Condos are classified as STR’s and they’re not, they’re not used as short-term rentals, many are 2nd homes for families. These people don’t receive an exemption for being a second home, in turn are forced to pay the higher property taxes. Complexes are deemed as STR’s, then are taxed at the highest and best use, they cannot qualify for any home exemption. Properties built in the 70's- 90's have no extra parking, no storage, one parking spot, no on street parking, thin walls, unpermitted interior additions, no fire sprinkler systems.
Please find attached ARDA Hawaii's Testimony providing Comments on BFED-45.
In your noble efforts to create more affordable housing in Maui, please consider necessary infrastructure changes and upgrades to help clear the way to build more / new affordable housing instead of eliminating and restricting the existing property rights of current vacation condo owners. Most vacation rentals are not adequately setup to live in as long tern housing. Furthermore, eliminating these vacation rentals will seriously erode the tax base necessary for Maui to offer basic public services. The TVR phase out proposal will only cause harm to Maui - it won't create any significant additional affordable housing, will erode the tax base necessary for essential services, will strip property rights from honest, long-time property owners, and will hurt local business that rely on tourism to thrive. Please consider alternative ideas to address the affordable housing issue. Thank you for considering my opinion.
Please do not approve a TVR phase out. I'm an owner in Polynesian Shores and believe that my condo enables many to come to the island who could not afford it otherwise. My unit would not appeal to someone trying to live full-time (500 sf, no storage, one parking spot, big HOAs!), but as a vacation rental it is perfect for enabling the tourism that fuels the local economy (even families stay in my tiny unit for brief times!). My taxes from the rentals and those of the other owners are pivotal for the county and local economy. And the business of TVR is keeping many locals employed through a variety of services. Please consider that the current proposal is not properly structured to solve the problem presented.
I am opposed to the proposed TVR phase out. The properties at issue were constructed with intent to serve as vacation rental properties and are not suitable for permanent residents. There are issues relating to storage space, parking etc. Moreover, expenses associated with maintaining these properties is astronomical and is contrary to affordable housing intent. Finally, TVR phase out would significantly erode Maui's tax income and ironically curtail the county and state's ability to provide affordable housing on other areas of the island. Thanks for your consideration.
Phasing out STVRs is an irrationally ANTI-LOCAL proposal.
LOCALS will be the only people devastated by this unwise proposal no matter how well intentioned the idea.
LOCALS own and are EMPLOYED by the hundreds of small businesses servicing Maui’s STVR industry i.e. carpenters, carpet cleaners, window washers, housekeeping services and independent contractors – many single mothers supporting their families, AC repair co, pool supply and maintenance, plumbers, electricians, gardeners, nurseries, grocery stores, florists, suppliers of cleaning supplies, small appliance suppliers and repair persons, restaurants big and small, auto mechanics. The list of LOCALLY owned small businesses that employ LOCAL citizens is too numerous to name.
Without small LOCAL businesses that support STVRs LOCALS lives will be cruelly affected.
Without income how will LOCALS in turn pay for their mortgages, rent, car payment, car mechanics, food, medicine, clothes, gas, school supplies for their children, forget birthday parties, Christmas presents or anniversaries. Forget supporting favorite restaurants and movie theaters. Forget buying guri guri., shave ice, spam musabi, there will be NO MONEY for such things we take for granted now.
So, what is left if this catastrophic proposal is adopted?
Only the very wealthy will be able to afford to buy property and pay the high property taxes here. And seriously, how many LOCAL families do you think will be allowed into their properties….a big fat ZERO!
The middle-class small businesses and their LOCAL employees will be wiped out. And how will Maui make up the lost tax base? Present ideas are child-like dreams and not supported by reality.
Which leaves only a poverty riddle lower class without a way to employ themselves. Welfare? Food stamps, Medicaid vs self-reliance and a job. That’s not the Maui way.
So go ahead a penalize STVR property owners and all the income they legally provide to LOCALS and for LOCAL organizations and government jobs.
People choose to work in any industry on Maui and thousands of Maui residents choose to have a small business that caters to, or a job in the STVR market because it’s a great business to be in. This proposal will destroy LOCAL small businesses, jobs and further increase the income divide on Maui.
I work for a vacation rental/property management/real estate company in the Kapalua Resort. We are family owned and operated, and have been in business for over 35 years.
I am OPPOSED to this bill and to “phasing out” transient vacation rentals.
The biggest winners of this bill are clearly the large hotel corporations.
Our owners invested in their properties knowing they were historically designated for vacation rentals. As you know, sales prices will plummet if that designation is taken away from them. (But I imagine that is the point). These resort properties are not meant to be designated as affordable housing. The homeowner fees alone can be around $1,000 a month and up just for a one bedroom, two bath villa- not including the rent or mortgage.
This bill will have a disastrous impact on Maui's economy. Attempting to reduce tourism and offer affordable housing by taking away our property rights and our freedoms is criminal. Why is the council not focused on creating affordable housing opportunities instead? Revenue from vacation rentals helps PAY for such plans but with the proposed bill, Maui will see a drastic cut in revenue. The only way to cover such costs would be to raise our property taxes. This is something Maui residents DO NOT want.
Looking at the list of apartment district properties allowed to be used for short term rentals, I see that here in the Kapalua Resort the Bay Villas are listed as approved. However, literally across the street and a stone's throw away, the Ridge Villas and Golf Villas are not permitted for short term rentals.
Why does this bill discriminate against some properties, and reward others based simply on their proximity to the water?
If this bill passes our business will eventually be taken away from us, not because we didn’t follow the rules/laws or run a successful company for over 35 years and pay millions in taxes, but because a small group of people decided they wanted to end it.
Our employees love their jobs and have been with us for years. How will they support their families when they are out of work? What jobs will be created for them when the tourism industry suffers due in part to this bill? What plan is in place now to make sure they can continue to put food on their tables? How are residents going to even be able to afford homes when there are less jobs on the island because of the forced reduction of the tourism industry?
We are educating everyone we know about how this bill will impact their lives, whether they work in the vacation rental business or not. It doesn’t matter whether they own a vacation rental, everyone’s lives will be greatly impacted- our vendors, our owners, restaurants, stores, activities- this will hurt everyone.
Many of our friends, family members and employees are not super political and have not paid close attention to county council races in the past, but they are paying attention to this upcoming race and this issue in particular. We will let our voices be heard with our vote.
We are paying attention. Our eyes are open and we will not allow the county council to take away our rights or our livelihoods. This bill is simply criminal.
Maui Council limit on TVR will reduce tax revenue by millions and hurt their drive to provide more affordable housing. Many of the condo TVR units are not suitable for workforce families as they are small units, with little storage, one parking spot and high HOA fees. Limit new TVRs, Hotels and resorts to slow tourism.
Regarding phasing out TVRs, tourism is the economic engine that fuels Maui. Passing this measure will negatively impact Maui financially. If you do away with TVRs, you lose the 3% Maui County Transient Accommodation tax generated by these TVRs. If the county shares in the General Excise Tax or the State TAT, it would lose that too. Property tax revenue would decrease because affected units would be taxed at a lesser rate. I own a one bedroom condo at Grand Champions in Wailea. This complex was designed to be vacation rentals. It is not suitable for long term residency. There is no storage facilities. There is insufficient parking. My unit is suitable for 2 people, not a family. At current prices if purchased by a Hawaii resident, there would be a $220,000 down payment; the monthly mortgage, property tax, and HOA fees conservatively would be $5300 per month, $64,000/year, beyond the reach of all but the wealthiest of Maui residents. If this proposal was to pass, myself and 3 neighbors said they would keep their condo out of the rental market and use it for their personal vacations. I purchased it for personal use and rent it out as a TVR when I’m not there. So there would be no additional long term rentals. New construction in Wailea have rules that prohibit TVRs, allow only for long term rentals, and they sell out quickly. Yet most of these units are uninhabited except when occupied by owners on vacation. My point is you change the rules to prohibit existing TVRs, you will get very few owners renting them long term. The Council by changing the designation of existing TVRs is using a band aid fix to a problem that requires a long term, detailed solution.
I feel that Maui County should support STR's because, not only does this add much needed income into the county via the taxes we all pay (which were recently increased A LOT) - but it also allows Maui's tourism to flourish. If the County begins to eliminate or limit short term rentals, I feel this will impact the County negatively in two ways: a) less taxes being infused into the economy, and b) reduced tourism, which will directly impact the struggling local population, who work hard to provided for their families. Every Maui resident provides a valuable service, that is needed by both locals and tourists. Let's not punish them and make it harder for them to live on Maui!! I feel that the county should SUPPORT short term rentals and charge those of us who own one a FAIR tax, not a prohibitive tax. Let's all work together to keep Maui's economy sound! Please consider support for STR's with a fair tax!! Your STR owners have a love for Maui and while we make our income from the rental, we also support a place we love.
I never understand why Maui County is so opposed to BnBs and short term rental options for tourism. Have you seen how much it costs to stay in a hotel these days? I donʻt know how ANYone can afford it, let alone families that need several beds. We all know that tourism is our #1 source of income for the entire island, so doing ANYthing that benefits tourists, without negatively impacting the environment, should be a priority for Maui County. Obviously, privately owned vacation rentals are a boon for tourism, and anyone visiting our island would be horrified if they knew how hard the County government has been trying to shut down BnBs and STRHʻs.
The one area I could agree is worth limiting, is to not allow permits for NON residents. If people from the mainland are buying up houses and renting them to tourists, that seems very unfair to residents who make a living, or at the very least, supplement their income, by renting out their ohanas and/or rental properties. But itʻs a DISGRACE to apply punitive rules to local residents who are doing nothing but benefitting the tourist industry, and therefore, the financial health of Maui County overall.
I do agree that tourism has negatively impacted the long term rental industry here on Maui, but why punish the HANDFUL of permitted STRHʻs, when the hotel and condo associations are *at least* equally to blame? Probably MUCH more so! The County has allowed so many hotels and high end condos to be built - so much real estate that 98% of residents could never afford to enjoy, and will never benefit from. Instead of shutting down, limiting, or even worse, *punishing* the owners of fully permitted STRHʻs and Bnbs, why not put a limit on all high end condos, and further tax hotels (not STRHʻs) to garner County income to be applied to low income housing for local families?
Also, why not use some of the tax revenue garnered from these permitted businesses INCLUDING hotels and condos, to hire more personnel to locate the NON permitted transient accommodations? If the County located and shut down the more than a thousand non-permitted vacation rentals, it would open up a flood of long term housing for locals.
To summarize, I deeply oppose any legislation that will hurt *local*, permitted homeowners by preventing or limiting their ability to A) support the tourist community with affordable transient accommodations, and simultaneously support themselves and their families through this form of business practice.
Lastly, all *permitted* STRH and BnB owners pay a good deal of tax revenue to both County and State. The County should appreciate this value, and not punish or limit any homeowner fully permitted for this business. All permitted homeowners who have complied with the rules and paid their appropriate taxes should be allowed to renew their permits ad infinitum. This business is GOOD for Maui.
Thank you for your consideration.
This has been an unprecedented time of financial struggle for me and my fellow Hawaii residents who rely on the tourism industry for their income. Tourism is the biggest industry here in Hawaii and we have been suffering greatly from this Global pandemic!
We grew up here on Maui and work really hard to make it here in Hawaii so we can stay where we grew up.
We are fully self-employed and because of that, we didn't have any paid vacation to rely on during the pandemic or paid sick time from a corporation.
We happen to have 2 legitimate condos in properly zoned areas for short term rental however I believe you should make short term rental easier for any property owner on Maui to help the average local residents benefit from the tourism industry here. The low wages and the high cost of living here are really challenging for those of us who grew up here and as well for those who have moved here.
It would be nice if the little guy was able to take a market share of the tourism industry that thrives here. Not to mention super helpful to get people out of the financial challenges that the pandemic has brought.
We had to pull money out of our retirements to get us through the pandemic. Please help those of us who are self-employed in the tourism sector here on Maui and across Hawaii. Please do not only help the big hotel corporations, please also help the small business owners like us. Thanks so much for listening,
I purchased my property at Wailea Ekolu since 2003 as a short term vacation rental. I received my license and have been paying taxes to Maui since 2003 and I do not think it would be fair to eliminate short term rentals for the people who actually have the license for a long time and been paying taxes to support Maui. I love Maui and would like to share the experience with my guests the wonders that Maui offers.
Owner of Wailea Ekolu
Our property, at Maui Kamaole, was purposely built as a short term rental complex. We purchased it with this in mind only three years ago. We have a large mortgage and its not fair to eliminate the short term rental aspect of the property. We would likely have to sell and it would be grossly devaluated should this proposal go through. We love Maui and would hate to have to take our dollars elsewhere. The financial contributions mainlanders bring to Maui is paramount to the livelihood of the islanders, not to mention the tax dollars generated by our property and others like ours. We greatly value the Hawaiian culture and the Aloha spirit and wish to continue to share this with our guests.
Sue and Paul Smeltzer,
Owners, Maui Kamaole
TVR should be allowed especially if it's a leasehold condominiums. Owners are paying high taxes and county banning short term rental but they keep receiving our taxes every month.