Maui Discussion

Maui Now Survey: 70% very concerned with the increase of out-of-state Maui homebuyers, 83% think Maui County should cap transient accommodations

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NOTE: This is not a scientific survey, the results only reflect the opinions of survey respondents.

On Thursday, March 17, Maui Now released a survey asking its readers to share their opinions and attitudes toward current issues affecting Maui County. The survey questions included topics from booster shot requirements, the return of cruise ships to Maui, staff shortages, and commercial downhill bicycling tours on the roadways of Haleakalā.

Survey responses were collected for 14 days from March 17 to 30, 2022.

Announcements inviting the public to take the survey were posted on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and the Maui Now website.

Maui Now received 544 verified responses with 90% identifying as Maui County residents and 10% identifying as non-residents. A total of 86% of respondents identified as registered voters and 14% as non-registered voters.

In the March 2022 Maui Now Reader survey, 70% of respondents were very concerned with the recent increase of out-of-state Maui home buyers in the past year, 12% of survey respondents were somewhat concerned, 10% of survey respondents were not very concerned, and 8% of survey respondents were not all concerned.

According to state data, more Maui County homes were purchased by out-of-state buyers last year than in recent years.

Mainland and international residents purchased 1,124 homes in Maui County last year, compared with 689 units in 2020 and 760 units in 2019, a recent fourth quarter report from the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism showed. Read more about this issue here.

83% of Maui Now survey respondents think that Maui County should cap transient accommodations – visitor units, while 17% of respondents think Maui County should not cap transient accommodations.

In a Maui County Council committee meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 23, some residents supported a plan to cap Maui’s transient accommodations while industry testifiers questioned whether a ceiling would have unintended legal and financial consequences. Read more about the debate here.

69% of Maui Now survey respondents believe that Maui County should raise property taxes on second homes, while 31% of respondents believed that Maui County should not raise property taxes on second homes.

In a presentation at Maui County council's Affordable Housing Committee on Monday, March 14, leaving property taxes at the lowest in the nation could actually spur investment home buys in Maui County. Read more about this report here.

About 70% of purchases in 2020 were non-owner occupied, second homes, Hawaiʻi Information Service said. Meanwhile, Hawaiʻi this year ranked lowest in the nation for property taxes by state, according to a WalletHub study published this month. 

38% of Maui Now survey respondents said that they are driving less after the recent increase of gas prices, 1% said they are driving more, and 61% are driving about the same.

Hawaiʻi gas prices began heading up quickly in the last week, setting even more daily records over the last few days, according to the AAA Hawaiʻi Weekend Gas Watch.

The average regular unleaded gas price for Hawaiʻi is $5.20, which is 11 cents higher than last week and a new record for the state. The average national price is $4.23, down one cent from a week ago. Read more about AAA Hawaiʻi's report here.

71% of Maui Now survey respondents said that they are very concerned with Hawaiian Electric's forecast of Maui residential bills rising to 20% in the coming months. 22% of respondents said that they are somewhat concerned, 5% were not very concerned, and 2% not at all concerned.

Hawaiian Electric forecasted last month that residential bills for customers in Maui and Hawaiʻi counties will rise about 20% over the next several months, while O‘ahu customers will see an estimated 10% increase. Read more about Hawaiian Electric's forecast here.


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