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ThinkTech Hawaii: The Empty Homes Tax (Talking Tax)

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Cracking Down on Vacation Homes. The hosts for this show are Jay Fidell and Tom Yamachika.

One of the ideas that has been kicking around in the state and county legislatures for a couple of years now is the idea of an ʻempty homes tax.ʻ The idea seems to be gaining steam now, since our federal court has struck down Honolulu’s recent ordinance clamping down on transient vacation rentals.

Basically, the idea is that if you own a house or condo, you don’t live in it, and you don’t allow anyone else to live in it, then you need to pay a hefty tax. The devil here is in the details.

How can such a tax be enforced? The Honolulu Real Property Assessment Division has misgivings. And there has been a parallel effort at the State legislature to enact a tax at that level.

Can it succeed?

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