Maui Discussion

Ask the Mayor: Will You Oppose Higher Tax Classification for Condos?

December 4, 2017, 2:59 PM HST
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Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the questions submitted to his staff.

Submit your own questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa at [email protected], 270-7855 or mail them to 200 S. High St., 9th Floor, Wailuku, HI 96793.

Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask the Mayor” column.

Dear Mayor Arakawa,

Q: I am a constituent and voter asking that you oppose the County Council’s Bill 92, which seeks to move condominiums from actual use to a higher tax classification at the discretion of the finance director.

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This bill will potentially eliminate hundreds of long-term rentals from condominiums and/or will cause rents to be raised by thousands of dollars on our hard-working local families.

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As you know, we are in a housing crisis right now and can ill afford to lose any more long-term rentals to vacationers.

Realistically, no landlord will agree to record every lease at the bureau and petition RPT [real property taxes] every year for 10 years. They will just raise the rent or move their unit to short-term rentals further burdening our struggling Maui families.

Bill 92 has some dire unintended consequences that need to be addressed.

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A: Thank you for sharing your concerns. While I do believe this bill in its current state is flawed and could negatively impact our housing supply for residents, I intend to let the council members do their due diligence as the bill makes its way through the legislative process.

If the County Council passes the bill and it finds its way to my desk, at that time, I will assess the final version before making a decision on signing or vetoing it.

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