2016.02.11 Hidden Cost of Hidden HotelsThe State House of Representatives’ Finance Committee will be hearing a bill, HB1850 (its Senate companion bill is SB2693). It will allow companies like Airbnb, which advertises vacation rentals, to collect taxes for the state on behalf of its “hosts.” The hearing is on Tuesday, February 23 at 2:00p in House Conference Room 308.

We OPPOSE HB1850 because:

  • it would allow companies like Airbnb to collect and remit taxes without any way of verifying that the amount they remit is anywhere near what the vacation rental owners owe;
  • it doesn’t hold companies like Airbnb responsible for making sure these vacation rental listings are legal or illegal;

Illegal vacation rentals are a growing problem in our state, and this bill does nothing to fix it. They’re a problem not just because they aren’t paying their fair share of taxes, but also because:

  • Illegal vacation rentals take away affordable housing for local people;
  • Illegal vacation rentals hurt our economy by directly competing with full-service hotels that provide good, local jobs;
  • Illegal vacation rentals are essentially illegal hotel operations in our own backyards. This impacts safety, parking, and the overall character of our neighborhoods.

Tell corporations like Airbnb to SHARE BETTER!

Please submit testimony to the House Finance Committee to OPPOSE HB1850. If you can testify in person at the hearing, please do! Here are more talking points (PDF) and a fact sheet (PDF) if you need more information.

To submit testimony, sign in at capitol.hawaii.gov, click on Submit Testimony and enter the bill number (HB1850). You can submit full written testimony, fill out the web form with comments, or testify in person. Don’t have an account? Email [email protected] with your support. Please try to submit by Monday, Feb. 22, 2:00 pm if possible, but late testimony still helps!