SUBJECT: RENTAL MOTOR VEHICLE AND TOUR VEHICLE SURCHARGE, Car-sharing organizations
INTRODUCED BY: SB by English, Baker, Chun Oakland, Gabbard, Galuteria, Keith-Agaran, Kidani and 4 Democrats; HB by Yamane, Aquino, Nakashima, Takayama, Yamashita
BRIEF SUMMARY: Adds a news section to HRS chapter 251 to provide the imposition of a car-sharing surcharge tax of $ ____ for each vehicle used each month by members of a car-sharing organization.
Amends HRS section 251-1 to define “car-sharing organization” that operates a membership program in which: (1) self-service access to a fleet of vehicles is provided exclusively to members of the organization who have paid a membership fee; (2) members are charged a usage rate, either hourly or by the minute, for each use of a vehicle; (3) members are not required to enter into a separate written agreement with the organization each time the member reserves and uses a vehicle; (4) the average paid use period for all vehicles provided by the organization during any calendar year is four hours or less; and (5) at least 60% of all vehicle rentals made by the organization during the prior calendar year were made to residents of Hawaii.
EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2014
STAFF COMMENTS: Under a car-sharing arrangement, vehicles may be rented hourly and since a renter does not have to pay for a full day of rental, the rates for the use of the vehicle could be significantly less than if a vehicle was rented from a typical rent-a-car company.
It should be noted that since a car-sharing arrangement is basically a rent-a-car company that allows renters to rent a car hourly, such car-sharing companies are in direct competition with rent-a -car companies that provide vehicles for rent and should be assessed a similar surcharge amount.
However, it is curious why the proposed surcharge will only be imposed if at least 60% of the vehicle rentals were made to Hawaii residents during the prior calendar year. While the rental motor vehicle surcharge is primarily aimed at the visitor market, the surcharge on car-sharing vehicles will not be imposed if they do not meet this requirement.