Ask the Mayor: Why Must Pickup Owners Sign Affidavits?
Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the questions submitted to his office staff.
Submit your own questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa via email at AskTheMayor@mauicounty.gov, call 270-7855 or send them by mail to 200 S. High St., 9th Floor, Wailuku, HI 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask the Mayor” column.
Q: Why is the owner of a pickup truck required to sign an affidavit that he or she will not use the vehicle for any business purposes, but vehicle owners don’t have to sign a similar affidavit for a passenger car? Is this a new requirement? If so, when did it go into effect? It doesn’t seem fair that I have to sign one, when Uber drivers are making bank using their personal car to skirt the law. How come truck owners have to sign, but not car owners?
A: State law allows light trucks (weighing 6,500 pounds or less) to pay the same rate and minimum tax as a noncommercial passenger vehicle, if the owner submits proof to the director of finance that the truck will not be operated for compensation or commercial purposes.
Since the vehicle registration fees and the DMVL are actually state functions being carried out by county employees, the state makes and changes the rules pertaining to auto registrations.
As for Uber drivers using passenger vehicles for commercial purposes: The loophole in the state law is that, at least for now, a signed affidavit is not required for passenger vehicles, which are assessed at the passenger rate.
Discussions at the state legislature have not yet evolved into legislation, but the issue has indeed been raised.