Category Archives: Transient Accommodations Tax (HRS 237D)

SB 2868, SD-3, HD-1

SUBJECT:  TRANSIENT ACCOMMODATIONS, Require Brokers, Travel Agencies, and Tour Operators to Register

BILL NUMBER:  SB 2868, SD-3, HD-1

INTRODUCED BY:  House Committee on Tourism

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:  Attempts to require those transient accommodations brokers, travel agencies, and tour packagers to register with the Department of Taxation before they may enter into an arrangement to furnish transient accommodations at noncommissioned negotiated contract rates.  Those who are required to register also will need to pay tax on their share of receipts for those accommodations.  The biggest problem, however, is acquiring jurisdiction over those brokers who might not have a physical presence in Hawaii.  The Committee may consider adding “economic nexus” provisions to address this problem.

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SB 2699, CD-1

SUBJECT:  TRANSIENT ACCOMMODATIONS, Applies Tax to Resort Fees

BILL NUMBER:  SB 2699, CD-1

INTRODUCED BY:  Conference Committee

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:  Imposes the transient accommodations tax on additional hotel resort fees that are calculated separately from the advertised transient accommodation’s rate.  Because of additional language in the “gross rental” definition excluding fees unrelated to the transient accommodations, this appears to be a technical clarification.

Clarifies that the transient accommodations tax shall be calculated based on the gross rental price paid by a visitor.  Specifies that the transient accommodations tax is to be collected from operators or transient accommodations intermediaries that collect whole or partial payment for transient accommodations.  Trying to expand the tax base in such a manner may have the unintended effect of discouraging those who would like to bring tourists to Hawaii and take care of them here.

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HB 2010, CD-1

SUBJECT:  TRANSIENT ACCOMMODATIONS, Reduce Earmarks, Cancel Interagency Debt

BILL NUMBER:  HB 2010, CD-1

INTRODUCED BY:  Conference Committee

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:  Forgives the debt owed to the State by the Hawaii Tourism Authority for the convention center construction costs and related interest and reduces the Transient Accommodations Tax earmark to the convention center enterprise special fund for money that otherwise would have paid the debt service.  This considerably simplifies the Hawaii Tourism Authority’s budgeting, because the bond debt has been paid off and the State’s right hand is now paying its left.

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SB 2922, SD-1

SUBJECT:  REAL PROPERTY, TRANSIENT ACCOMMODATIONS, Education Surcharge on Residential Investment Properties and Visitor Accommodations

BILL NUMBER:  SB 2922, SD-1

INTRODUCED BY:  Senate Committee on Judiciary

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:  Constitutional amendment to allow the legislature to impose a surcharge on real property tax for residential investment property, and on transient accommodations.  We question why this type of increase is being sought given that the Department of Education already has a gargantuan share of the State budget but is still beset with such issues as frustrated teachers and students roasting in our classrooms.  Limits should be written into the amendment or the voters should be apprised that they are voting only on granting power to the legislature to impose a state level real property tax surcharge, with no limitations on that power.

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HB 2432, Proposed SD-1

SUBJECT:  TRANSIENT ACCOMMODATIONS, Applies Tax to Resort Fees, Attaches Liability to Intermediary, Increases Transient Occupancy Tax

BILL NUMBER:  HB 2432, Proposed SD-1

INTRODUCED BY:  Senate Committee on Ways and Means

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:  Imposes the transient accommodations tax on additional hotel resort fees that are calculated separately from the advertised transient accommodation’s rate.  Because of additional language in the “gross rental” definition excluding fees unrelated to the transient accommodations, this appears to be a technical clarification.

Clarifies that the transient accommodations tax shall be calculated based on the gross rental price paid by a visitor.  Specifies that the transient accommodations tax is to be collected from operators or transient accommodations intermediaries that collect whole or partial payment for transient accommodations.  Trying to expand the tax base in such a manner may have the unintended effect of discouraging those who would like to bring tourists to Hawaii and take care of them here.

Increases tax on timeshare units by increasing the tax base from half of the gross daily maintenance fee to an unspecified percentage.  The definition of the taxable base was adjusted three years ago, and at that time the legislature declined to change the percentage against the Department of Taxation’s recommendation.  Justification for increasing the percentage now is questionable given that history.

Continue reading HB 2432, Proposed SD-1

HB 2012, HD-2, SD-1

SUBJECT:  TRANSIENT ACCOMMODATIONS, Earmark funds to address homelessness

BILL NUMBER:  HB 2012, HD-2, SD-1

INTRODUCED BY:  Senate Committees on Economic Development, Tourism, and Technology and Human Services

SYNOPSIS:  Amends section 237D-6.5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, to provide that $_____ per year shall be allocated to the Hawaii tourism authority to implement initiatives, in conjunction with the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association, to address homelessness in tourist and resort areas; provided that no funds shall be released unless matched dollar-for-dollar by the private sector.  The funds are to be used for the provision of social services.

Requires Hawaii Tourism Authority to submit a report to the legislature at least twenty days prior to the convening of the regular session of 2019, which shall include:  (1) the current status of any initiative implemented during the three-year period prior to the date of the report, in conjunction with the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association, to address homelessness in tourist and resort areas, including the costs thereof, source of funding, and participating entities; and (2) the current status of any plans to implement future initiatives, in conjunction with the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association, to address homelessness in tourist and resort areas, including the estimated costs thereof, potential sources of funding, other than legislative appropriations, and anticipated participating entities.

Continue reading HB 2012, HD-2, SD-1

HB 2605, HD-2, SD-1

SUBJECT:  GENERAL EXCISE, TRANSIENT ACCOMMODATIONS, MISCELLANEOUS, Transient Accommodations Brokers as Tax Collection Agents; Amnesty

BILL NUMBER:  HB 2605, HD-2, SD-1

INTRODUCED BY:  Senate Committees on Economic Development, Tourism, and Technology and Public Safety, Intergovernmental, and Military Affairs

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:  Allows a transient accommodations broker to serve as a collection agent for general excise and transient accommodations taxes.  This type of arrangement would probably enhance collection of taxes because of the difficulty of policing individual owners.  However, the number of caveats, conditions, and restrictions that are placed on the broker signing up for this program is so large that it is unlikely that any broker in its right mind would sign up.  If no broker is motivated to sign up, this legislation will accomplish nothing.

Continue reading HB 2605, HD-2, SD-1

HB 2010 HD-1, SD-1

SUBJECT:  TRANSIENT ACCOMMODATIONS, Redistribute Funds

BILL NUMBER:  HB 2010 HD-1, SD-1

INTRODUCED BY:  Senate Committee on Economic Development, Tourism, and Technology

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:  Forgives the debt owed to the State by the Hawaii Tourism Authority for the convention center construction costs and related interest, which is okay because the bond debt has been paid off and the State’s right hand is now paying its left.

After amendment by this bill, the section of the Transient Accommodations Tax Law dealing with earmarks covers 11 pages and looks like an appropriations bill.  Earmarks to the TAT clearly have gotten out of hand.  This needs to go through the appropriations process.

Continue reading HB 2010 HD-1, SD-1

SB 2868, SD-3, HD-1

SUBJECT:  TRANSIENT ACCOMMODATIONS, Require Brokers, Travel Agencies, and Tour Operators to Register

BILL NUMBER:  SB 2868, SD-3, HD-1

INTRODUCED BY:  House Committee on Tourism

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:  Attempts to require those transient accommodations brokers, travel agencies, and tour packagers to register with the Department of Taxation before they may enter into an arrangement to furnish transient accommodations at noncommissioned negotiated contract rates.  Those who are required to register also will need to pay tax on their share of receipts for those accommodations.  The biggest problem, however, is acquiring jurisdiction over those brokers who might not have a physical presence in Hawaii.  The Committee may consider adding “economic nexus” provisions to address this problem.

Continue reading SB 2868, SD-3, HD-1