STAND UP FOR THE BIG ISLAND ECONOMY, LOCAL WORKERS AND LOCAL HOMEOWNERS
Protect Our Property Rights, Jobs, and Economy:
Say NO to Additional TAR Legislation
Bill 121 is redundant to existing county vacation rental legislation, could harm local families financially, reduce housing security and is in part, contrary to existing Hawaii Revised Statutes.
The challenge of providing attainable and affordable housing in Hawaii County necessitates the removal of development barriers like prohibitive zoning, addressing infrastructure issues, and offering incentives to developers. Restricting vacation rental properties alone won’t solve the housing crisis, as it fails to address the fundamental housing needs of the community.
Big Island residents, we need your voice to protect homeowners’ rights, jobs and the economy. Short-term rentals are under attack from the county government, even though these properties are crucial to homeowners, workers and businesses. On the Big Island it’s common to rent a room or home to help pay the bills. These rentals are invaluable to local people and businesses who come here from other islands for a temporary job or seasonal work, which in turn helps the community. These rentals are also invaluable to local people who rely on them for work including handyman, landscapers, cleaning service, maintenance, etc. In addition, people who live here depend on short-term rentals for temporary housing in cases where they cannot qualify for long term housing. This Transient Accommodation Rental (TAR) legislation will hurt our people and our economy.
Bill 121 is overly complicated and burdensome.
- OPPOSE erosion of private property rights.
- OPPOSE county regulation that directly conflicts with state law.
- OPPOSE further endangering housing security.
- OPPOSE punishing local homeowners with unreasonable fines, fees and processes.
- OPPOSE additional regulations in lieu of full enforcement of the existing vacation rental and related ordinances. (Ordinance 2018-114, Planning Department Rule 23 )
Learn More and Join the Fight Against Restrictive TAR Legislation
- Homeowners should maintain the right to use their home for residential purposes regardless of length of tenancy or number of occupants.
- The County should not dictate to private property owners which parts of their own home they may occupy, or rent, or how many visitors they may allow.
- Requiring homeowners to disclose which rooms they are living in or renting out is not only an undue intrusion into property rights but is also unenforceable.
- The proposal of a public-facing list and license signage requirements identifying all transient accommodations poses unacceptable security risk, particularly when coupled with public-facing calendars (e.g. on Airbnb, VRBO, Booking.com, etc.).
- Short-term rentals generate significant tax revenue, benefiting year-round residents and supporting essential community services and infrastructure.
- Vacation rental owners pay both County and State Transient Accommodation Tax and State General Excise Tax totaling 17.75% of each room night occupied, which is a significant source of funding to the state and county budgets.
- Vacation rental owners pay almost the same property tax as hotels (CENT MARK .55 less) and relinquish their assessment cap and lose all or some of their homeowner exemption.
- Hawaii residents use short-term rentals on the Big Island for temporary and seasonal work, visiting ohana, helping others make ends meet and keep the Big Island’s economy healthy.
- Locals returning to the islands to visit or care for family rely on short-term rentals for convenient, less expensive than hotels to stay close to their loved ones.
- Housing supply for participants and supporters of Merrie Monarch, Ironman, and similar events would sharply decrease while demand continues.
- Short term rentals provide housing for those displaced by natural disasters as well as emergency workers and first responders, and acts as interim housing for those who otherwise cannot find or qualify for permanent housing.
- No evidence has been presented by the County to demonstrate that property currently used for transient accommodation will convert to long-term or affordable housing.
- Short-term rentals play a crucial role in our tourism and local economy, creating jobs and income for our community.
- The onerous application process, initial, and renewal fees outlined in this bill, create an undue financial burden on lower income residents.
- The proposed bill’s reporting requirements are overly demanding, requiring monthly detailed submissions not just from large hosting platforms but also from individual owners and small-scale operators, including ‘mom and pop’ setups managing direct bookings.
The County has an obligation to actively pursue and terminate illegal transient rental operations as well as equally enforce existing regulations to protect all residents. This responsibility extends beyond a complaint-driven enforcement model which only contributes to the erosion of community character. Until the enforcement of existing short term rental regulations (Ordinance 2018-114) is proven effective in preserving the character of our residential and agricultural areas, reducing speculative investment in properties within these markets, and adding to housing availability for residents, further regulatory changes should NOT be considered. Ordinance 2018-114 and the resulting Planning Department Rule 23 have had little to no impact on deterring illegal vacation rentals or curbing non-compliant behavior.
GET INVOLVED NOW AND LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD.
In the first opportunity to provide testimony, an overwhelming number of residents shared their opposition to Bill 121. Almost none were in support. There will be a few more opportunities to testify before the bill becomes law.
Take time to learn about Bill 121 and the consequences for the community, both intended and unintended. Click the button below and let your voice be heard.
Bill 121 will hurt the Big Island and ultimately the State. Tell the County you oppose this legislation!
Together, we can protect our property rights, economy, housing options, and support our vibrant island community and its people.