Think About It: Rental Rendering Reluctance - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

May 7, 2018

Think About It: Rental Rendering Reluctance

For the third year in a row, the state legislature addressed the issue of short-term vacation rentals and the possibility of state taxes coming into play. And for the third year in a row, the legislature came to no resolution as bills on both sides fell by the wayside. Far too often it seems that the legislature discusses matters that its constituents want to have resolved, but then nothing gets resolved. "Hey, we tried", is the mantra, I guess.

 

Well as that great philosopher Yoda once said, "do or do not; there is no try". Maybe the devil is in the details, maybe outside influences (i.e. political monetary contributions) are at fault here, but dropping this ball year after year as our neighborhoods and communities morph with increases in weekly visitors and the state tax coffers see nothing, or very little, here's a thought. Why don't the involved legislators spend the next six months, when they're not in session, meeting regularly to figure out a way to get this issue resolved. Why wait until the 2019 legislative session to go through this process, only to see it fail… again?

 

Get the counties involved, get the private sector tax gurus involved, get some really smart people together during this off-season to figure out how to deal with a growing, untaxed, issue that affects tens of thousands of people as they watch water bills rise, garbage concerns grow, street parking limited, and many other items arise from the use, or misuse, of second homes and rental units. With our housing situation as tight as it is for local residents, this must be a priority. I understand the business side of taking in weekly rentors at better rates than local renters and in keeping tourism dollars flowing, but this issue isn't going away nor getting better by having our legislature fail to respond with a plan year after year. Tough decisions- that's the job. Think about it...

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