Council to discuss GET, homestays Wednesday

LIHUE — Bills relating to the General Excise Tax and homestays are scheduled for a second reading during the Kauai County Council meeting Wednesday.

Bill No. 261o proposes raising the GET a quarter of a percent, as a way to raise funds for tackling just over $100 million worth of backlogged road repairs.

There are 303 miles of roads that need to be repaired, said Lyle Tabata, acting county engineer.

According to the bill draft, the proposed GET increase will also go toward “improving and expanding sidewalks for pedestrians, including people with disabilities.”

Originally, the proposed bill asked for a half-percent increase, but was recently lowered to a quarter percent.

But the percentage decrease did not appease some council members. During a committee meeting last week, council members voted 4-3 to recommend killing the bill, when it goes back to the County Council.

Two bills relating to homestays are also up for second reading Wednesday. Both bills were discussed during committee last week.

One, Bill No. 2619, was recommended for approval by the planning committee. The bill seeks to find a better policy to regulate B&Bs and vacation rentals.

As part of the bill, homestays are restricted to the Visitor Destination Areas, and have to operate under certain conditions. Those conditions include limiting the length of stay and room, as well as requiring the homeowner to live on the property.

Councilwoman JoAnn Yukimura proposed limiting the number of guest rooms to three, which was approved by the planning committee.

The second homestay bill, No. 2609, was recommended to be killed. It proposed additional regulations like limiting the number of signage on the outside of the building to one and providing a list of safety requirements, given by the Planning Department those safety requirements included curfews and natural disaster drills.

The council will also discuss the resolution that proposes a charter amendment to establish a council-manager government.

The resolution proposes instituting a county manager, who will act as the chief executive officer of the county and be responsible for managing county affairs.

The county manager will be voted on by the County Council. The manager candidate does not need to be a resident of Kauai at the time of appointment, but must establish residency within 90 days, according to the resolution.

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