Hawaii governor signals intent to veto vacation rental bill

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii Gov. David Ige has placed a vacation rental tax collection bill on a list of legislation he intends to veto, a report said.

Placement of the bill on the Democrat’s list does not guarantee he will reject the measure, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Monday.

The state Senate bill requires vacation rental platforms such as Airbnb and Expedia to collect state taxes from transient rental operators.

The Senate vote was 13-12 in favor of passage, while all but one House member supported the legislation.

The bill does not specifically call for the state to provide counties with information received from the hosting platforms.

While the bill may improve tax collection, “we want to make sure there are no adverse unintended consequences,” Ige said.

A stronger law could be crafted that works in unison with municipal legislation, he said.

“The state’s taxation of transient accommodations through the hosting platforms should complement the counties’ regulations of transient accommodations,” Ige said.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell has indicated he will sign a city bill imposing stronger fines and tougher enforcement tools on vacation rental operators.

Knowing the Honolulu City Council plans to create a registration process for vacation units “allows us to craft a proposal that specifically acknowledges that, and allows us to incorporate that into our tax collection efforts,” Ige said.

Ige put 19 other bills on the veto intention list. Any measure the governor does not act on by July 9 will become law without his signature.

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Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, http://www.staradvertiser.com

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