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I talked to a Senator's aide yesterday and she said the committee is concerned with illegal vacation rentals in residential neighborhoods. When I told her requiring a Hawaii state excise tax number is problematic and we strongly recommend that a registration, not the tax number be made public for privacy purposes. She snaps back with “why are you trying to hide your business”. I told her we are concern about identity theft, etc. She said “No, you are concern about illegal businesses being identified”. She went on to tell me that all Tax licenses are public information on the web and all property owners and their addresses are also on government websites already. My response to her was “Oh, I didn't know that”. I told her that I was located in a resort area, not residential, and personally I would be OK with putting my Tax license and even my address on my ads if that help situation. She said that would be useful and the Committee would appreciate that type of support from the owners. To me it does seem to be a reasonable request. In my opinion, we should be helping the state and the local governments to shut down illegal vacation rentals. They are the problem. They are illegal and they don't pay their taxes.
"In my opinion, we should be helping the state and the local governments to shut down illegal vacation rentals. They are the problem. They are illegal and they don't pay their taxes."
There is the whistle blower bill that I think we are all okay with once they remove the requirement to list our on island contact info on our advertisements. That is the most we or any other person, which also includes non owners, can do to help identify illegal vacation rentals. The taxes that are already paid to the state should be used to enforce the laws that already exist to identify illegals. The state of Hawaii is not enforcing the existing laws, and these new bills won't accomplish that either. I still cannot see how displaying our registration number will help anything, other than to make our TAT number visable to everyone for them to 'illegally' put on their advertisement. And then guess who will get called?
There is the whistle blower bill that I think we are all okay with once they remove the requirement to list our on island contact info on our advertisements.
I agree. I'm even okay w/ my tax ID on my web pages/advertising (I'm already putting this into my condo FAQ and receipts).
We can support efforts to modify the laws to allow more TVR's (although that's inviting competition), but we can't condone breaking the law.
I've looked at properties that were obviously breaking zoning laws... and it's pretty apparent on their VRBO/FlipKey sites... they show very limited information, no maps, low prices, incorrect GE/TAT percentage; it amazes me they can't/don't easily catch these folks.
But, it reaffirms what I've been thinking: they don't want to threaten voters with prosecution, they want more money flowing (via PM's) into the state from non-voting legal TVR owners. That's who they're out to get. None of their other arguments make sense.
Note that the Whistle-blower bill is in resolution today, as discussed above; let those senators/representatives know how you feel about listing your contacts ID on all advertising, and how that looks to be a precursor to requiring that contact be a licensed RE.
I live in Hawaii and have been in touch with my rep. The bottom line is this effort is only going to cause more problems than it solves and therefore must not pass. If this is truly about getting tax evaders to pay up, they could easily do this. There must be more to the story and I believe special interest groups are players here.
Its not about taxes. Its about property managers looking for an unfair advantage and they claim taxes are the issue. Unfortunately some legislators have been going along with their ploy
I wouldn't assume anything from VRBO listings. Some homeowners do not list addresses publicly because there are people who rob vacant vacation homes. They can see via the calendar if it is rented and then go scope out the place. I took our address off ads for that reason (we had parts of our gate stolen when no one was at the house). Some list taxes, some don't. Doesn't mean they don't pay them. Some property owners pay the tax and do not pass it on to renters which is legal in Hawaii (this is what we do for a guest who stays 2 weeks or more). The state could simply write letters to every owner with an ad and ask for verification of their tax id and then run a check to see if they are paid up. Sheesh, they could hire interns to do this. I maintain that by making it harder to rent properties many owners are simply going to dump them either through regular or short sales, something the real estate market here does not need right now.
What I think this really amounts to is that most or all of us either have a loss
or break even so we don't pay income tax. If the PM's got 50% of our revenue
they would have to pay income tax on it!!!
Discount Window Coverings
This is very telling to me if this is the the office's line of thinking. I live on Oahu and believe me, if someone is running an unauthorized rental in a residential area that disrupts the neighborhood, the neighbors won't hesitate to turn them in. So...I also don't think this is about unauthorized rentals either...it is about special interest groups getting their way and gaining control over this market something our reps apparently support, but I will continue to drive home the fallout of this effort if it passes which will not be pretty for the state.
Don’t bet on it. By the time they expense out their overhead, I doubt there is much for the tax man. Taxes are on the profits after expenses. I don’t know how contributions to legislators are viewed though- are they somehow construed as expenses?
Good point Fairways, but the decline in TAT and GET tax receipts (from lower occupancy) would more than offset the increased tax on PM profits. And I suspect that it would lead to an overall lower number of island visitors.
These guys (the legislators) do not understand or care that they would be killing a goose laying golden eggs.
Ms Deb's says "never underestimate the power of the press - especially during an election year! If your elected offical is not listening to you, than GO - write letters (and make sure you send copies to the incumbant's opposition). As my granfather always said "There is more than one way to skin a cat"."
I think we need to heed Ms Deb's advice and keep up the media pressure. There are other ways to skin a cat and we may well be able to help the opposition to unseat those incumbants who, in jwe's words, want to "kill a goose laying golden eggs."
One of the key proponents of the bill has been Sen Baker from Maui. The irony is that her constituents will lose jobs if she gets her way, and the State will lose visitors and tax revenue if these bills pass. But property managers and hotel unions (primarily in Oahu) will benefit. As far ask I know she is running unopposed.
As Pinketonagent implied in a post a while ago we need to follow the money and continue to investigate the finances of many of these folks. And to see that anything unethical appears in the media.
They will meet again today:
|4/25/2012||S||Conference committee meeting to reconvene on 04-26-12 1:15PM in conference room 423.|
Don't forget SB2947 reconciliation reconvenes today:
4/19/2012 S Conference committee meeting to reconvene on 04-25-12 1:00PM in conference room 423.
Here is the contact info for those in the meeting:
Phone Fax Name 808-586-6160 808-586-6161 Representative McKelvey Angus L.K. (D) firstname.lastname@example.org 808-586-6210 808-586-6211 Representative Keith-Agaran Gilbert S.C. (D) email@example.com 808-586-8475 808-586-8479 Representative Choy Isaac W. (D) firstname.lastname@example.org 808-586-6310 808-586-6311 Representative Marumoto Barbara C. (R) email@example.com 808-586-6890 808-586-6899 Senator Fukunaga Carol (D) firstname.lastname@example.org 808-586-6230 808-586-6231 Senator Ige David Y. (D) email@example.com 808-586-8420 808-586-8426 Senator Slom Sam (R) firstname.lastname@example.org
My SWAG is they are determined to find agreement on this bill before the end of session.
Note their joint meeting to reconcile HB2078 today too:
|4/24/2012||H||Conference Committee Meeting will reconvene on Thursday 04-26-12 2:50PM in conference room 423.|
AJH has the details below, althogh it's an HB not an SB...
The Hawaii legislative session is almost finished – IF A BILL ISNT COMPLETED BY THURSDAY THIS WEEK – ITS DIES! - so let’s work together to KILL THIS BILL!! We could have a break until next January (well deserved) – just one more time we need you to write emails or phone!!
What we need is to ask you for one last email/phone response to divert a bill that could prove very problematic. Please take a moment and write a short email as we outline below. It is our goal is have the language on this bill SB2078 changed and then we can all relax for a few months knowing that we have diverted some laws that could have had terrible impact on our vacation rentals. It should only take a few mintues....
The Hawaii state legislature will have a conference committee hearing on SB 2078 (link to current version: http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session2012/Bills/HB2078_SD2_.HTM)
The current version is problematic in that it requires:
• The on-island contact, have a real estate liscense, if they handle more than one property. For background, what happened was the Senate combined two bills, and by doing so, it created a situation where in the proposed bill, as it stands now, any on-island rep that handles MORE than one property needs to be a realtor. WE DON’T WANT THIS. We want the on-island contact to be able to be a handyman, a cleaner, anyone – we don’t want a restriction on what kind of professional they are.
• Publication in all ads and on the website of on-island contact information and the Hawaii state excise tax registration number of the owner. We are concerned by that including our personal information, our tax numbers, identify theft could occur.
RBOAA believes both of the above 2 points are not acceptable and better options are needed. Please take a moment to email (or call) the following legislators and (in your own words) mention the following suggested points:
• We oppose the current version of SB 2078 SD2 because it changes the law to now requires on-island agents to be licensed realtors, increasing costs to owners without benefitting renters. House versions of SB 2078 did not alter the sections and the definitions in the law in a way that created this new requirement. As to the licensing of on-island agents, the House version is better and we ask that they incorporate that language.
• Requiring a Hawaii state excise tax number is fine, but requiring its publication in ads and on a website is problematic and we strongly recommend that a registration, not the tax number be made public for privacy purposes.
The good news is that House members have disagreed with this version of the bill and key Senate members have said that there was no intent to change the law pertaining to the "one to one" and licensing requirement. However, legislators must finalize bills in conference committee by April 26 -- time is short and if the conferees agree to the current version of the bill it will have adverse impacts on rental owners.
Please send your email to the following before Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. (Hawaii Time):
Senator Ron Kouchi email@example.com
Senator Gil Kahele firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Roz Baker email@example.com
Rep. Tom Brower firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Jimmy Tokioka email@example.com
Rep. Bob Herkes firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Scott Nishimoto email@example.com
Rep. Clift Tsuji firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Corinne Ching email@example.com