New Tax to Visit Hawaii
Officials on Maui are looking to implement a new tax on tourists who visit the island. State lawmakers voted to override a veto by Hawaii Gov. David Ige this week. The new law allows Hawaii’s counties to collect a 3% tax from visitors staying at hotels and other short-term rentals.
Before this, Hawaii had a 10% hotel tax rate, and the state divided this money out to every county. But , Oahu, Hawaii typically received most of the funds due to a larger population size, even though Maui receives more tourists per capita.
“I am very concerned that the funding and functional changes in this bill will severely damage HTA’s shift to destination management. We need to find ways to mitigate the impact of visitors on our islands, and this bill would make it impossible for the HTA to strike a more sustainable balance in our communities,” said Gov. Ige in a press release.
On the other hand, Maui County Council Chair Alice Lee said that this change will bring Maui nearly triple the revenue. “Instead of $23 million, we’ll probably receive in the neighborhood of $50 to $70 million,” Lee said. Counties will now receive money based on how many visitors they get.
Lee wants the new law in effect immediately, Hawaii News Now reports. “As soon as we can. The administration, the budget office, our budget director, and our corporation counsel are working on this this very minute,” she said. “We will expedite it and get the in motion as quickly as possible … because this is a lot of money which we need badly.”