Hawaii lawmakers consider vacation rental tax legislation

HONOLULU — Hawaii lawmakers are considering legislation that would require websites like Airbnb to collect and pay taxes on behalf of short-term rental hosts. The lawmakers are eager to gather tax revenue from the state’s flourishing but mostly unpermitted vacation rental sector.

Attempts to enact similar measures have failed in past years, but lawmakers believe they have a better chance of succeeding this time. The House and Senate are both scheduled to vote Tuesday on separate bills.

The state levies the transient accommodations and general excise taxes the short-term rental operators must pay. But permits for short-term rentals are issued by counties which have varying regulations that are often poorly enforced.

Vacation rental websites oppose the bills, saying they require turning over personal information of site users in violation of federal law.


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