Transient Accommodations Tax Update:
The legislative session is in full swing and we are making progress on some of our priority issues for this session. Thank you to everyone who submitted testimony in strong support of our transient vacation rental measure of choice SB 2999, which allows transient accommodations brokers to register as a tax collection agent on behalf of all its operators and plan managers and addresses the issues of transparency, enforcement and accountability. As an update, Senate Bill 2999 was introduced but was inappropriately titled “Taxation” as it also addressed county land use laws, enforcement, and proper registration. Therefore, to avoid a legal challenge with respect to the appropriate title, the language from SB2999 was inserted into another bill with a more accurate title of “Transient Accommodations”. All the accountability, transparency, and enforcement of the original measure have now been carried into the new bill.
As an update, both SB2963 SD1 and SB2999 passed out of the two committees yesterday. SB 2999 was stripped down to specifically address the Tax Amnesty Program proposed in its original language. SB2963 SD1 was passed with the substantive section of the initial transient vacation rental language that deals with transparency, enforcement and accountability for both the brokers and the operators included in the bill. The Senate Committee on Ways and Means will be releasing a clean version of the bill in the next couple of days.
In the meantime, if you have a chance, please be sure to thank the measure’s champions- Ways and Means Chair Dela Cruz, and Economic Development, Tourism, and Technology Chair Wakai, for their leadership on these measures.
For additional information or questions regarding the bill, contact myself or Jared of my staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Embassy Suites Talk & Tour:
Mahalo to those of you who attended the Coffee Talk & Tour last week at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Oahu Kapolei. We are witnessing more and more lodging accommodations being built on the west side of Oahu. Over 30 attendees were treated to an Embassy Suites signature full American breakfast and tour of the property, which included guest rooms/suites, restaurant, lounge, pool, and a fitness center. General Manager Reid Yoshida and Director of Sales and Marketing Milton Lafitaga also addressed the group, sharing their experience throughout the process of opening the hotel.
Embassy Suites by Hilton Oahu Kapolei offers 180 suites of which some offer a lanai with a scenic ocean view. The property boasts amenities such as a sundeck with an outdoor pool, whirlpool and on-property restaurants such as Sprig’s Grille, which services lunch and dinner while Manamana Lounge Bar is available poolside for daytime snacks and beverages.
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