Business/In Brief • Dec. 20, 2013

Six county hotels on 2014 Gold List

Six Maui County hotels made Conde Nast Traveler’s 2014 Gold List, based on its annual reader’s survey.

The hotels are the Four Seasons Maui at Wailea; Four Seasons Lana’i at Manele Bay; Four Seasons Lana’i, The Lodge at Koele; Honua Kai Resort & Spa; Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui; and the Wailea Beach Villas.

The hotels were rated by readers on rooms, service food, location, design and activities. There were 200 U.S. properties that made the Gold List.

Some 80,000 readers filled out the survey, helping rank the world’s best properties, Conde Nast said on its website.


Solar tax credit rules permanent

HONOLULU – A rule limiting the ability of homeowners and businesses to claim multiple tax credits for solar systems has been made permanent by the state of Hawaii.

The state Department of Taxation created the rule last year to provide clarity and uniformity to the tax credit program. They also wanted to reduce the tax revenue lost as the value of claimed credits soared.

The new rules base the 35 percent solar income tax credit on total kilowatt output capacity.

Homeowners may claim up to a $5,000 credit for a five- kilowatt photovoltaic system. Businesses may claim a tax credit of up to $500,000 for a one-megawatt system. Under the previous rules, many homeowners and businesses, working with solar companies, exceeded the caps by configuring multiple systems.

The Department of Taxation adopted the new rules Monday after holding a public hearing Nov. 25. The temporary rules would have expired in May if the department hadn’t opted to make them permanent.


Coco Palms developers get time

LIHUE – The Kauai County Council is giving Coco Palms Resort developers more time to obtain building permits and begin restoring the storied hotel made famous by Elvis Presley.

Coco Palms has sat in ruins since Hurricane Iniki lashed Kauai in 1992. It’s the only major hotel that never reopened after the storm.

The council on Wednesday, by a 6-1 vote, approved a bill that would keep, for another two years, a rule exempting redevelopment projects from some county setback and height ordinances created in the decades since the hurricane.

The bill allows for “a legally nonconforming structure to be reconstructed to its condition prior to Hurricane Iniki.”

Coco Palms developer Chad Waters told The Garden Island he’s grateful for the council’s efforts to give developers a sunset window.

Investors want to rebuild the property as a modern-day version of the original Coco Palms, which was a venue for the 1961 Presley movie “Blue Hawaii.”