Protect Short Term Rentals on Hawaii Island
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The Office of Mayor Harry Kim, is currently drafting a Bill that would effectively end vacation rentals on Hawaii Island, and is expected to be ready to move forward in a matter of weeks!
TVR's (Transient Vacation Rentals) are critical to Hawaii's economic well being and growth. There are less than 1000 hotel rooms in East Hawaii, and not many more in West Hawaii. Areas like Puna, Volcano, South Point, and Honokaa will suffer greatly without available tourist lodging. The island will be in jeopardy of losing large events such as Merrie Monarch and Iron Man to other locations that can accommodate the amount of people these events attract.
Thousands of Big Island residents open their homes up to guests from all over the world every day. Many of these people are supplementing fixed income for retirement or use it as a primary source of income. Allowing a Bill that would end these residents ability to make a living on their own property will only help further the economic crisis this Bill would create.
"TVR's are a vital and positive part of our communities on the Big Island. Our culture is becoming more transient and travel is becoming more accessible. TVRs allow people to rent their homes for a period of time and become world citizens by travelling and spreading Aloha. Vacation Rental businesses create jobs on this rural island where none previously existed. Guests are introduced to the spirit of Aloha....something they take back with them to their communities. The hosts pay their taxes which enriches our state. In the spirit of Aloha they endeavor to be good members of our communities, run their vacation rental businesses responsibly and live in harmony with our communities." -Jessica Gauthier
*Update 1* Many supporters have been reaching out to the County Council and there is a seemingly clear consensus that they are not the ones spearheading this Bill. A representative from Mayor Harry Kim's office read a copy of the Bill to the Rotary Club on Wednesday 10/25.
*Update 2* A concerned citizen reached out to the Mayors office and received this response from Donna Urban-Higuchi:
“Mahalo for contacting Mayor Harry Kim and his staff!
We understand your concern about the proposal to ban short term rentals on the Big Island. Currently, there is no legislation being introduced on short term rental bans. On the Big Island, when the owner of the house rents out a room and currently lives in the home then it is acceptable. Any legislations that will surface, will not prevent people from renting out a room in the house.
*Update 3* Sunday 11/5, this article was posted on the front page of the Hawaii Tribune-Herald, and in the West Hawaii Today.
Feel free to contact us should you need further assistance. We look forward to hearing from you.“
This is a vague response that contradicts the Draft read to the Rotary club in Hilo on 10/25. If a Draft can be read to a non-governing group, it needs to be more transparent to the public.
***Edited from original post naming the County Council as the creators of this Bill.
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