Local Hawaiian Newspapers are keeping pretty quiet about some new legislation in progress which will hurt local businesses that support vacation rentals owned by off-island owners. If passed into law, Property Managers stand to gain Big Dollars at the expense of the non-resident owners who may be forced to go out of business and sell their units.
A reason you should know about this is it will also impact anyone who makes income by supporting vacation rentals and tourism in Hawaii.
Please read this Petition which is started by a small business owner in Kihei and make sure you send it to other Hawaiians that don't even know about this. If passed into law it will start to financially affect local businesses that depend on income from owners of vacation rentals starting this July.
My name is Gina and I am a small business owner who provides services to vacation rentals. I am circulating this petition to get the word out on legislation that may affect you. If all or part of your income is tied to Hawaii's tourism industry, and especially if it is related to supporting off-island owners of vacation rental properties, then if the legislature adopts bills being considered right now you will feel its financial impact on your business as early as July of this year.
I am a wife and mom of two wonderful school aged children and we live in Kihei, Maui. I decided to start my own business which I love. I set my own schedule, determine who I work with, have great clients and take a lot of pride in my work. I get paid well for the work that I do. My business has grown steadily due to a lot of hard work and from referrals. It is now in its 5th year of operation and has been getting better each year. I provide housekeeping services to private homes and vacation rentals in south Maui.
Several bills are being considered right now by the Hawaii Legislature which, if they become law, will dramatically affect the portion of my business that supports owners of vacation rentals. It is critically important that other small business owners in Hawaii who also depend on tourism or directly support owners of vacation rentals become aware of how this law can affect them. If the bills are passed, owners who live off-island may no longer be permitted to manage their own rentals and, starting this July, will be forced to turn over their properties to Property Management groups who will charge 20-50% of their rental income for managing their properties. Many owners simply will be unable to break even or turn a small profit if this happens. It is predicted that a large number will be likely to sell or foreclose their properties or revert them back strictly to personal use.
For owners that do not sell, they will have to reduce spending in many ways to stay afloat. All of the owners are worried that they will no longer have acceptable occupancy rates and will not be able to continue to invest in the upkeep of their rentals. My experience has been that the self-managed units are almost always the nicest ones and also have the most guests. Since owners will not have money any longer to upgrade, they will not be supporting local businesses like construction or those that sell products for remodels and improvements such as furniture and appliances. An owner of a Kihei Upholstery shop said approximately 30% of her business comes from these vacation rental owners.
No one can predict how it will affect overall tourism to Hawaii but many feel that a lot of visitors strongly prefer the direct contact with an owner instead of working with a Rental Pool. Fewer choices will cause them to consider other options for their vacations. So this will affect everyone who depends on Hawaii's tourism economy.
An unfortunate thing about these bills is they were originally intended to reduce or eliminate illegal/unpermitted vacation rentals operating in our local neighborhoods. Existing laws are being violated by these unlicensed operators, who will likely continue to ignore those laws or any new ones that may be adopted. Law abiding owners who hire individuals like me will be negatively impacted, as will I.
The MOST IMPORTANT THING you can do is share this with your friends and family in Hawaii who may be hurt financially. They need to know about this so that they can make sure their voices are heard.
Mahalo for taking the time to better understand this legislation and how it may impact Hawaii.
We the undersigned oppose legislative bills HB1706, HB1707, HB2078 and SB2078. Not only will they cause significant harm to off-island owners of vacation rentals, these bills will harm the local Hawaiian economy and the small businesses who earn their living by supporting vacation rental and tourism industry. Some small businesses will have to close. It's hard enough to earn a living and provide for our families, please don't make it worse.
These bills don't even address the problems with illegal TVRs in our local neighborhoods.
Please KILL these measures.
Mahalo for taking the time to read this letter.
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