Feb 25

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We need YOU to take action THIS WEEKEND!  Bills to be heard 2-28-2017

There are two bills your RBOAA team is very concerned about and last night, notice was posted that both are being heard on Tuesday morning.  Both bills are generating hundreds of pages of submitted testimony, so we are going to try a different approach and ask that you call or email the committee members directly and voice your opposition.  In this newsletter, we are providing the emails and phone numbers of the committee members as well as some suggested comments for you to make.

SB683 and SB686.  Increase to property tax   The State is proposing to amend the constitution in order to increase property taxes on those who own residential property which is rented out and on vacation rental owners.  We would be hit with both taxes.  The numbers are not insignificant.  If your property is worth $400,000, your annual tax bill would go by $3225 - $1400 from the residential tax and $1825 from the vacation rental property tax.  For me personally, this doubles my property tax bill.

Your increase in residential property tax can be calculated as:   Value of your property divided by 1000 times by the rate in the chart below.   Your transient rental property tax is calculated as $5 times 365 days per year.

Add the two numbers together,

Property Value

Surcharge per $1000 of property value


Under $500,000


$500,000- $750,000




$1,000,000 - $2,000,000


$2,000,000 and over


Not only is the increase a significant amount, but the property tax is only imposed on those who own vacation rentals and those who rent out residential property.  That group comprises only 2% of the total assessed value of property in the State of Hawaii and that group already pays 3.5% of the property tax in the State of Hawaii.   The bill has gained public support as the funds are earmarked to pay for education and higher salaries for teachers.

Suggested Comments.  Here are some suggested comments you could make in your emails or phone calls   My name is {  } and I own a vacation rental in {  }.  I am writing / calling to express my opposition to SB 683.

  • Vacation rental property owners already pay property taxes that are 3 to 4 times higher than residential home owners
  • My property tax bill will increase by [  ] which will [double] my property tax bill.
  • Education benefits everyone and so the cost of education should be borne by everyone.
  • The group of taxpayers targeted by this bill owns 2.0% of the assessed taxable value in the State, but pays 3.5% of the property tax in the State.
  • This bill puts the cost of education solely on the shoulders of a small minority of taxpayers.  That is discriminatory and unjustified.
  • Applying this tax increase to all taxpayers would result in only a very small increase for everyone, rather than a large increase for a few.
  • Don’t create bad tax policy for political popularity.
  • (If you really want to get fired up, you could go on to say – This bill is protectionist and isolationist and will only result in decreased investment in Hawaii.  It is nothing more than an attack on tourists and an attack on companies who rent accommodation to others.)

HB 1471 - Advertising Platforms as Tax Collection Agents   This bill became very complicated and very onerous after the last committee when the bill was amended to make it mandatory for advertising platforms to become tax collection agents.  The move to make it mandatory has two implications.  1) It sets us on the path to become a regulated industry – something we fought tooth and nail against a few years ago.  2) For advertising platforms who do not want to or cannot become tax collectors (think VRBO and HomeAway), they will not be able to accept advertisements from Hawaii vacation rental owners.  Either way, the amendments were designed to shut us down.    This bill was never close to being good legislation but we had been optimistic it could be improved.  Now, we simply have to stop this bill.

Suggested Comments.  Here are some suggested comments you could make in your email or phone message.   Aloha.  My name is { } and I own a legal vacation rental in { }.  I am calling to express my profound/deep/intense opposition to HB 1471.

  • Making it mandatory for advertising platforms to become tax collectors is a very negative attack on legal vacation rental operators.  This is either the first step in making vacation rentals a regulated industry in Hawaii or an attempt to ban advertising platforms from accepting advertisements in Hawaii.
  • The tourist industry is dependent on legal vacation rentals to provide accommodation for the tourists who visit the islands every year.
  • I have been operating for [x] years.  I have always paid my GET and TAT correctly and on time since I started.  I am in compliance with my county zoning requirements.  I don’t need a private company to police me.
  • The bill offers no consumer protection to owners or to travelers
  • The bill makes transient vacation rental owners the only taxpayers in the USA who are required to use a private company to oversee their tax compliance.
  • This bill puts a private company in between the tax payer and the State, putting both parties at risk.
  • The bill opens the door to fraudulent tax collection agents
  • The bill penalizes both the Dept of Taxation and vacation rental operators who are compliant.
  • The advertising platforms will choose to stop accepting Hawaii advertisers rather than comply with all the onerous requirements.  That will lead to a drop in TAT of $100 million per year.
  • The tax collection agents will increase the fees charged to vacation rental owners.  Vacation rental owners are not getting rich off their investments in Hawaii.
  • The state will pay the tax collection agents to collect taxes the State now collects for free

Senator Contact Information.  This table lists the contact information for all Senators.  The names bolded are hearing SB683 on Tuesday morning.

Baker ,  Rosalyn H. (D) 808-586-6070 senbaker@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Chang ,  Stanley (D) 808-586-8420 senchang@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Dela Cruz  Donovan M.(D) 808-586-6090 sendelacruz@capitol.hawaii.gov
English  J. Kalani (D) 808-587-7225 senenglish@capitol.hawaii.gov
Espero ,  Will (D) 808-586-6360 senespero@capitol.hawaii.gov
Gabbard  Mike (D) 808-586-6830 sengabbard@capitol.hawaii.gov
Galuteria  Brickwood (D) 808-586-6740 sengaluteria@capitol.hawaii.gov
Green ,  Josh (D) 808-586-9385 sengreen@capitol.hawaii.gov
Harimoto  Breene (D) 808-586-6230 senharimoto@capitol.hawaii.gov
Ihara ,  Les Jr. (D) 808-586-6250 senihara@capitol.hawaii.gov
Inouye  Lorraine R. (D) 808-586-7335 seninouye@capitol.hawaii.gov
Kahele  Kaiali‘i (D) 808-586-6760 senkahele@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Keith-Agaran  Gilbert S.C. (D) 808-586-7344 senkeithagaran@capitol.hawaii.gov
Kidani ,  Michelle N. (D) 808-586-7100 senkidani@capitol.hawaii.gov
Kim  Donna Mercado (D) 808-587-7200 senkim@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Kouchi ,  Ronald D. (D) 808-586-6030 senkouchi@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Nishihara ,  Clarence K. (D) 808-586-6970 sennishihara@capitol.hawaii.gov
Rhoads  Karl (D) 808-586-6130 senrhoads@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Riviere  Gil (D) 808-586-7330 senriviere@capitol.hawaii.gov
Ruderman ,  Russell E. (D) 808-586-6890 senruderman@capitol.hawaii.gov
Shimabukuro  Maile S.L.(D) 808-586-7793 senshimabukuro@capitol.hawaii.gov
Taniguchi  Brian T. (D) 808-586-6460 sentaniguchi@capitol.hawaii.gov
Thielen  Laura H. (D) 808-586-6460 senthielen@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Tokuda  Jill N. (D) 808-587-7215 sentokuda@capitol.hawaii.gov
Wakai  Glenn (D) 808-586-8585 senwakai@capitol.hawaii.gov

House of Representatives Contact Information.  This table lists all the members of the House of Representatives.  The names bolded are hearing HB1471 on Tuesday morning.

Aquino ,  Henry J.C. (D) 808-586-6520 repaquino@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Belatti ,  Della Au (D) 808-586-9425 repbelatti@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Brower ,  Tom (D) 808-586-8520 repbrower@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Cachola  Romy M. (D) 808-586-6010 repcachola@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Choy  Isaac W. (D) 808-586-8475 repchoy@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Creagan ,  Richard P. (D) 808-586-9605 repcreagan@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Cullen  Ty J.K. (D) 808-586-8490 repcullen@Capitol.hawaii.gov
DeCoite  Lynn (D) 808-586-6790 repdecoite@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Evans ,  Cindy (D) 808-586-8510 repevans@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Fukumoto ,  Beth (R) 808-586-9460 repfukumoto@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Gates  Cedric Asuega (D) 808-586-8460 repgates@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Har ,  Sharon E. (D) 808-586-8500 rephar@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Hashem ,  Mark J. (D) 808-586-6510 rephashem@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Holt  Daniel (D) 808-586-6180 repholt@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Ichiyama ,  Linda (D) 808-586-6220 repichiyama@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Ing ,  Kaniela (D) 808-586-8525 reping@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Ito ,  Ken (D) 808-586-8470 repito@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Johanson ,  Aaron Ling (D) 808-586-9470 repjohanson@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Keohokalole  Jarrett (D) 808-586-8540 repkeohokalole@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Kobayashi  Bertrand (D) 808-586-6310 repkobayashi@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Kong ,  Sam Satoru (D) 808-586-8455 repkong@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Lee ,  Chris (D) 808-586-9450 replee@Capitol.hawaii.gov
LoPresti  Matthew S. (D) 808-586-6080 replopresti@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Lowen  Nicole E. (D) 808-586-8400 replowen@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Luke  Sylvia (D) 808-586-6200 repluke@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Matsumoto ,  Lauren Kealohilani (R) 808-586-9490 repmatsumoto@Capitol.hawaii.gov
McDermott ,  Bob (R) 808-586-9730 repmcdermott@Capitol.hawaii.gov
McKelvey ,  Angus L.K. (D) 808-586-6160 repmckelvey@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Mizuno ,  John M. (D) 808-586-6050 repmizuno@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Morikawa ,  Dee (D) 808-586-6280 repmorikawa@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Nakamura  Nadine K. (D) 808-586-8435 repnakamura@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Nakashima ,  Mark M. (D) 808-586-6680 repnakashima@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Nishimoto ,  Scott Y. (D) 808-586-8515 repnishimoto@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Ohno ,  Takashi (D) 808-586-9415 repohno@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Onishi ,  Richard H.K. (D) 808-586-6120 reponishi@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Oshiro ,  Marcus R. (D) 808-586-6700 repmoshiro@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Quinlan  Sean (D) 808-586-6380 repquinlan@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Saiki ,  Scott K. (D) 808-586-8485 repsaiki@Capitol.hawaii.gov
San Buenaventura , Joy A. (D) 808-586-6530 repsanbuenaventura@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Say ,  Calvin K.Y. (D) 808-586-6900 repsay@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Souki ,  Joseph M. (D) 808-586-6100 repsouki@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Takayama ,  Gregg (D) 808-586-6340 reptakayama@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Takumi ,  Roy M. (D) 808-586-6170 reptakumi@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Thielen ,  Cynthia (R) 808-586-6480 repthielen@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Todd ,  Chris (D) 808-586-8480 reptodd@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Tokioka  James Kunane(D) 808-586-6270 reptokioka@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Tupola  Andria P.L. (R) 808-586-8465 reptupola@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Ward  Gene (R) 808-586-6420 repward@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Woodson ,  Justin H. (D) 808-586-6210 repwoodson@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Yamane ,  Ryan I. (D) 808-586-6150 repyamane@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Yamashita  Kyle T. (D) 808-586-6330 repyamashita@Capitol.hawaii.gov





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