House Bill 86
As you know, House Bill 862 HD2, SD2, CD1 was passed by both chambers of the State Legislature and now goes to Governor Ige to sign, allow the law to be enacted without his signature, or veto. We are working to petition Gov. Ige to consider wielding his veto powers.
“Bill could raise costs of vacationing in Hawaii ,” Honolulu Star-Advertiser April 24, 2021
"Editorial: Take longer view of visitor industry," Honolulu Star-Advertiser, April 27, 2021
In related news, Maui Mayor Michael Victorino has already issued a press release indicating his support for the enactment of a 3% surcharge for Maui County. While we understand the counties' are in a difficult situation given the Legislature removing the traditional TAT allocation they have received for the past 31 years, we had hoped for more restraint in issuing any sort of support at this point. Approaching this issue with care makes the most sense as any proposed surcharge could be obviated through a veto by Gov. Ige.
"Counties eye hotel room tax hikes as state seeks to divert revenues to general fund," Hawaii News Now, April 28, 2021
"New County Hotel Tax Is Approved In Final Vote," Civil Beat, April 27, 2021
We do know that Mayor Victorino's stance on the establishment of a county surcharge is not shared by each of the county mayors. Mayor Rick Blangiardi noted in his comments to Civil Beat that, "Pushing a major TAT initiative in the 11th hour, and in this economic climate, is not the way to create a law this important and impactful to all of our counties," while Hawai'i County Mayor Mitch Roth said that HB 862 comes at a bad time for residents in a variety of industries, not just hospitality.
"Roth says bill that nixes TAT allocations places intolerable strain on isle’s hospitality industry," Hawaii Tribune-Herald, April 29, 2021
On Thursday, May 6 at 8 a.m. HST, Lt. Governor Josh Green will join Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford and AHLA President & CEO Chip Rogers for a discussion panel that will cover tourism promotion and how to balance this while maintaining health and safety protocols. This is the latest episode in AHLA's ongoing Forum Speaker series and will undoubtedly have great insights from each of the panelists.
You can register for the event at this link.
TIM Alumni Hall of Honor
Congratulations to past HLTA Chair Glenn Vergara who was honored by the University of Hawai'i Travel Industry Management Association at their 19th Annual Celebrate a Legacy in Tourism Event! In addition to serving as HLTA's chairperson, Glenn has also twice chaired our statewide Charity Walk committee and is an all-around exemplary of our association. HLTA Board Member Sanj Sappal of Securitas, right, and I were honored to be in a video that was played at the event to honor Glenn.
Congratulations are also in order for ABC Stores President & CEO Paul Kosasa who was honored alongside Glenn as a distinguished TIM School alumni.
Stay in the know
Keep up with HLTA through our blog! Let us know what you think in the comment box below each post.