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Actually it really is better if they receive a lot of different letters rather than a template letter. In my experience, legislators tend to not pay a lot of attention to what they view as form letters.
And, no, it's not too late to write!
You can respond as well as sign the petition on change.org - http://www.change.org/petitions/the-governor-of-hi-stop-bill-hb1707-transient-rentals-to-be-rented-by-licensed-agents-only
It went from 16 signers to almost 200 in only a few hours. I sent it to all my former tenants as well as Facebook friends.
Hankd, please be sure to submit this as testimony to the bill! You are right, that could be a real eye-opener to them.
Here is where you can submit testimony:
Did anyone notice HB1707 has changed to HB1707HD2 with an effective date of Jan. 1, 3000? Could this be a mistake? And since SB2089 would be immediate, shouldn't we have a petition on that one too?
Yes, I noticed that...figured it was a sloppy typo. The Senate Bill does not have a petition as far as I know. It also is not currently accepting testimony on the Hawaii government webpage. I believe I read somewhere that it is being rewritten...Anyone know for sure?
We're overlooking HB1706, that requires condo owners to use a property management company:
The author of all of these is Cindy Evans... the fellow who answered her phone said this was a request of her constituents at town meetings!
1707HD2 is the updated version after the latest committee changes.
My understanding is the "3000" is just a placeholder while it makes its way through the process. This bill is active and most likely would have a 1/1/2013 effective date if approved. It originally had the verbiage "this bill shall take effect upon its approval." You can see the various changes in the bill at this link on the status page on the upper right under "All versions of this measure"
Interestingly enough, it appears to me that the verbiage requiring the sales agent or broker to actually pay the "appropriate taxes" has been deleted in the newest version. Is anyone else seeing that? The committee report states "with the approval of the owner." However, isn't that the whole point of this bill, that they are insisting that the sales agent/broker will remit the taxes, while we are not? Makes no sense.
Yes, Evans initiated both 1706 and 1707 and SB2089 came from her colleague in the Senate, Josh Green, who is from the same area (North Kona and South Kohala--Big Island). There seem to be two active realtors/property managers from exactly that same area that you can find online that are proponents of these bills that somehow I imagine you could tie to those two as well. This includes the area that my property is in as well... :-(
I just called her office at 808-586-8510 and spoke with a woman who was very interested to hear solutions to how they could collect taxes from those who are not paying them. I suggested they look at people's VRBO and HomeAway sites, they can see their calendars, see their names, phone numbers, etc. and figure out if they are renting or not and compare with their tax rolls.
IIRC, they hand out a form provided by the state on the plane before you
land... asking each visitor where they are staying and how long they are
Since they already know who owns each property, and who's paying taxes,
they could mine their own data for who's renting and for how long.