Hawaii Focuses on Illegal Vacation Rentals
“We’re trying to capture the taxes from people that are doing the business in Hawaii. Which is the state’s responsibility,” said Richard Onishi, a Democrat representing Hilo and Volcano.
As for vacation rentals, they see the legislation as a risk of having to provide the personal information of the rental to the Hawaiian government, as violating federal law.
Airbnb has responded to the laws by stating that one of the bills “does not contemplate a fair process for regulating the industry but simply seeks to impose harsh fines.” The home-rental startup also added, “Hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars in tourist revenue could be at risk if this bill were adopted as currently proposed.”
Expedia (which owns VRBO.com and HomeAway.com) has stated that they believe these laws would threaten Hawaii’s tourism economy.
Lawmakers will meet later this month to discuss the proposed bills. Currently, Governor David Ige is withholding comments on the bills until they’ve undergone a legal and departmental review.