Let Maui families keep more of their money

Maui County Council’s Budget and Finance Committee has been attracting attention by considering a bill, BF-42, that would increase taxes on short-term rentals by roughly 22 percent.

According to the Maui Finance Department, the tax hike would raise an additional $600,000 per year, if the bill is approved.

Lawrence Carnicelli of the Maui Realtors Association testified that, “There are members of this body who went before the state Legislature three weeks ago and said ‘We can’t raise TAT (transient accommodation tax) because it’s going to harm the tourist industry; we can’t raise taxes on the tourist industry.’ And yet that’s what we’re doing now: We’re raising taxes on the tourist industry.”

As Mr. Carnicelli said, the county likes a tax hike when the money goes to the county, but dislikes it when it goes to the state.

A better principle would be to let Maui families keep more of their money, so they can better deal with Hawaii’s high cost of living.

Joe Kent, Vice President

Grassroot Institute of Hawaii

Honolulu

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