Monday, July 4, 2022 |
Share this story
Some of Hooser’s ‘facts’ can’t go unchallenged
We all know it is election season, and politicians are endeavoring to grab headlines by endeavoring to appease concerns of local voters.
However, some of the “facts” quoted in today’s TGI letter by Gary Hooser can’t go unchallenged.
On Kaua‘i there are only three official Visitor Destination Areas (VDAs) — Princeville, Kapa‘a and Koloa. Also, only small parts of these VDAs qualify and also, naturally, not all homes in these areas are TVR (transient vacation rental) destinations.
In our street in Po‘ipu only three of 12 houses are listed as TVRs. Gary is obviously quoting the values of all dwellings in the entire qualifying or potential TVR addresses. It makes for good newspaper headlines but is disingenuous or misleading at best.
In The Garden Island Dec. 5, 2021, an article quoting “officials” reported that due to an agreement by the mayor’s office, the Expedia Group and Airbnb, TVRs “have gone from about 1,500 in 2017 to less than 50” in 2021. To be able to have a legal TVR we must have a TMK on file for a VDA plus an active TAT (transient accommodations tax) number.
This agreement is strongly enforced, and if there is any noncompliance, you don’t get paid.
Some will say there are still illegal rentals. But this is like punishing legal registered gun owners for illegal weapons held by criminals.
A case can be made for limiting the volume of tourists to a level that sustains sufficient cash flow for Kaua‘i without derogating the experience and lifestyle of all concerned. To keep some control of tourist numbers the county, in many cases, only needs to enforce its own regulations.
Those who would like to see tourism greatly restricted like to visualize that period at the height of the pandemic when entertaining guests would risk fines or even imprisonment. How wonderful it was to have no one on the beaches, no competition for surf spots and little traffic on the road.
Surely even the most ardent anti-tourist realizes that that situation couldn’t have been sustained without the generous payments many of us received, either directly or indirectly, from the federal government. Without those payments and bank forbearance on mortgages and rents, many of us would have found ourselves in dire situations.
On an island close to 80% dependent, either directly or indirectly, on tourism, without visitors or government support there would be massive unemployment and many would still be unable to meet their financial obligations or in some cases the necessities of life.
On the front page of TGI May 15, 2022 Councilmember (Luke) Evslin quotes one in eight homes on Kaua‘i is a vacation rental, and in some areas it is one in 2.5. He was obviously including all condominiums and potential TVRs.
For the record, a two-bedroom condo owner in the Poipu Kai Association area monthly pays AOAO (association of apartment owners) fees of approximately $1,200 plus association fees of about $450 plus whatever mortgage payment is paid to a financial institution; not a suitable venue for low-cost housing.
It is also illegal to rent a home for less than six months and not pay TVR taxes. There are four taxes currently totaling 16.11% of gross revenue. Also stated was that a $1 increase would make the basic TAT tax 10.85%. That is incorrect — we currently pay 10.25%. A $1 increase would, of course, make it 11.25%.
It is the constant fear of those of us who conscientiously pay our TVR taxes to be slowly put out of business by politicians who slowly “kill the goose that’s laying the golden egg” by taxing tourism to the point where Kaua‘i is no longer an affordable destination.
No everyone can afford approximately $800 per night at the Grand Hyatt.
David Collison, Po‘ipu
We need many more low income apartments. That would solve all of this. Too bad our politicians haven’t been able to solve the housing issues.
“Not everyone can afford approximately $800 per night at the Grand Hyatt.” But, since legally the State or Counties cannot restrict travel, THAT is how you control tourism. We do not ask for the level of tourism to go back to pandemic levels, but the current level is not sustainable. All we ask is that we not sit in traffic for hours ON A DAILY BASIS. And paving over the island, changing it into Oahu, IS NOT the answer. This is a rural place and needs to stay that way. Hopefully Luke comes up with a plan that will pass the council. And what happened to the “studies” of Poipu and Lydgate? Where is the Ke’e type plan for those parks? Went to Lydgate last Sunday to find absolutely no parking. This is out of control!!!!
Mahalo David for challenging Mr. Hooser’s facts. I’m not sure when vacation rental owners became the scapegoat for all of the county’s financial problems, but I resented Mr. Hooser implying that any increase in the property tax would be paid for by the vacationer. Yes, owners may raise their prices to cover the increase, but ONLY to the point that the market will tolerate. I believe you did, however, misunderstand one data point in Mr. Hooser’s article. I believe he was calling for a 1% increase in the PROPERTY TAX rate, not the TAT rate. That TAT rate is controlled by the State, not the county (with the exception of the new, additional county TAT tax rate of 3%). With GET, the total pass-through taxes (not property taxes) paid for by the vacationer is already 17.962%. The property tax is paid for by the owner, which, of course, gets reflected in the booking rate.
Unfortunately, telling nonstop lies has become the agenda of the left. Hillary is being exposed, Hunter Biden is being exposed, and on and on. Their tower of lies is collapsing upon them, as it should. Any politician who does this need to be exposed. Meanwhile, inflation continues to rise. And the left is laughing at you while they take your money. Today’s criteria for vacation planning – “Should we buy gas or eat?”. The “We Did That” party is solely at fault for what is happening. Not Russia, not COVID, no other lies. It’s their policies laid right out in front of you at the gas pump, grocery store, your energy bills, and much more that are to blame. Had enough? VOTE THEM OUT!
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
By participating in online discussions you
acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful
discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments
are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines,
send us an email.