The following is an email sent to all Hawaiian Senators and Representatives offering to work together to resolve the challenges posed by TVR and the unsubstantiated claims being made:
Dear Hawaii Senators and State Representatives:
I’m writing to you in the hope that we might work together to put in place a consistent, effective approach to the state’s array of accommodation offerings including owner-operated transient accommodations and agency-managed transient accommodations.
This legislative session — and the four legislative sessions prior — have witnessed a number of bills introduced that offer widely disparate statements as to the definition, quantity, and legality of these types of transient accommodations. Whether the description is Individual Visitor Units (IVUs), Individually Advertised Units (IAUs), Transient Vacation Rentals (TVRs), or Transient Vacation Units (TVUs), we do not believe that Hawaii wishes to put an end to this type of accommodation, nor do we believe Hawaii wants to send a message that such options are to be denied to consumers. But the attacks on this popular vacation option has seen Hawaii legislators criticized for advancing bills that create monopolies for hotels or property managers.
Legislative Update — April 11, 2015
SB519 SD2 HD3
On April 10, SB519 SD2 HD3 as amended by the House Finance Committee was posted on the Hawaii legislative website. When the bill reached the Finance Committee, previous House Committees had amended the definition of “Local Contact” from Act 326, and the new definition would have required owners to use a realtor to manage their vacation-rental properties.
Through the hard work of RBOAA and its members, and the careful consideration by the Finance Committee, this new definition was deleted, and the “Local Contact” remains as defined by Act 326.
While this is good news, the fight isn’t over. In the days ahead will tell us if the Senate will accept this now significantly amended version of their original bill, and pass it as it is, or if it will disagree, requiring SB519 SD2 HD3 go to conference. RBOAA will monitor and, as required, will ask Members and others to participate through testimony and other actions when appropriate.
Bill SB519 SD2 HD3 provides the following:
Extends the provisions of Act 326 for one year, until December 31st, 2016.
Provides a comprehensive new definition of “Transient.”
Defines “transient accommodations broker” as persons or entities, that offer, list, advertise, or accept reservations or collect whole or partial payment for transient accommodations, i.e., online websites, online travel agencies, online booking agents.
Amends the definition of “transient accommodations” to include single family dwelling.
Requires the Department of Taxation, starting in 2016, to submit an annual report to the legislature (no later than 20 days before the start of the Session) on its findings and recommendations regarding the implementation of Act 326, including any proposed legislation to improve the enforcement of Act 326.
Empowers the Department of Taxation to issue cease-and-desist orders and monetary fines for operators and plan managers who fail to conspicuously display the certificate of registration (Hawaii Tax ID) in the registered transient accommodation.
Requires operators and plan managers to conspicuously display the certificate of registration (Hawaii Tax ID) in the registered transient accommodation, whereby a failure to do so will result in the issuance by the Department of Taxation of cease-and-desist citation which shall include a monetary fine of $1,000, which may be issued once per day, per place for which the registration or notice was issued.
Requires operators and plan managers to conspicuously display the Hawaii Tax ID on a website or by online link and displayed in all advertisements, solicitations, and notices on websites or through other online communication media regarding the transient accommodations for which the registration identification number is issued.
Requires operators and plan managers to disclose on a website or by online link and displayed in all advertisements, solicitations, and notices on websites or through other online communication media regarding the transient accommodations, a disclosure statement reading as follows: “This is a Hawaii transient accommodations governed by Hawaii Law. Hawaii transient accommodations taxes must be paid on the gross rents collected by an operator from any person renting Hawaii transient accommodations. Hawaii law also provides further requirements of a transient accommodations operator.”
Requires “transient accommodation brokers” to ensure any advertising, solicitation, or other notice to be posted by them for transient accommodations operators or plan managers includes the Hawaii Tax ID and the disclosure statement.
Again, this fight is not over. RBOAA will monitor and, as required, will ask Members and others to participate through testimony and other actions when appropriate.
I want to thank everyone for submitting testimony, for reading and considering the bills, and for providing input and ideas. We’re all busy with life, I know, and it has been just terrific to know that while we’ve been doing our work at RBOAA (and as individual owners, too!) so many are doing exactly the same.
Let me start with the harsh reality: Of all the bills we have been actively involved in, it is essential for us all to know that there are still a couple we must keep our eyes on. As we all know from 2012, the Hawaii Legislature can quickly throw some harmful language into another bill, and immediately, we’d have a new bill that can cause us additional angst.
Pending Legislation Introduced in 2015
(as of January 28, 2015)
Bills to amend Act 326 that have been introduced in the 2015 legislature as of January 28, 2015 are:
SB1031 (Baker and others) requires 'local contact" to now be "on-island agent" who must be a licensed realtor. Custodian/caretaker must be an employee and work for only one owner.
Legislative session wrap-up: RBOAA again turns tide in Hawaii legislature, by Alicia Hopkins, President, RBOAA
Another Hawaii legislative session has ended. Once again, the efforts of the Hawaii Rental By Owner Awareness Association (RBOAA) played a significant role in preserving the owner-operated vacation-rental accommodation choice in Hawaii for visitors, and upholding the ability of owners who invest in Hawaii to provide it. Click here to read more...
Rental By Owner Awareness Association's (RBOAA) Mission is:
to provide accurate information about Hawaiian vacation rentals to property owners and Hawaiian legislators
to support the Hawaiian economy by ensuring that visitors have sufficient options in their selection of accommodations
to provide Hawaiian vacation rental property owners with information that will increase their awareness of changing federal, state, and local regulations and requirements with which their ongoing compliance is required
to help ensure that the rights of Hawaiian vacation rental property owners are not infringed on by others who would prefer to restrict them to reduce competition.
MEMBERS PLEASE NOTE:
Key reporting dates approaching under Act 326 . . .
Regular visitors to the RBOAA website will be quite familiar with our “Complying with Act 326” tab found under “News and Updates.” Once there, you’ll see we’ve placed a helpful link to the Hawaii “Department of Taxation Announcement 2014-02” which spells out responsibilities of vacation rental owners and AOAOs under Act 326.
March 31, 2014 — If you are an operator of transient accommodation, you must report certain information to your AOAO by this date.
April 30, 2014 — Your AOAO must file a report of this information with the Hawaii Department of Taxation by this date.
It may well be that your AOAO has already requested the Act 326 information from you, or that you have supplied it to your AOAO without their reminder. For our part, given the importance of Act 326, and the penalties for non-compliance, RBOAA is recommending that all owners of transient accommodation exercise an abundance of caution, and provide to their AOAO by March 31, 2014, the information required of operators of transient accommodation under Act 326.