Bill 80 (2020) Update
Council Chair Ann Kobayashi and Councilmember Carol Fukunaga are pictured above at a press conference where they voiced their support for HLTA's position on Real Property Tax rates in June 2019. (Photo courtesy of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser).
The Honolulu City Council just posted its agenda for its upcoming Council, Meeting and Bill 80 (2020) will not be heard by the Council for second reading at this time. This is a significant win for our industry and an even more significant setback in the timeline for this measure's enactment.
Now, to be clear, the bill is not dead as of yet. Council Chair Ann Kobayashi has decided not to hear Bill 80 (2020) at this time, and it stands to reason that the bill is facing strong opposition amongst the nine councilmembers for a litany of reasons. The decision by Chair Kobayashi to keep this measure in committee is a strong signal that several councilmembers are aware of the myriad issues raised by this bill. Bill 80 (2020) will remain in committee for now. It is likely that a resolution, which does not have the force of law, will be put forward to address some of the issues addressed in Bill 80 (2020).
All this being said, I am relieved to see that the initial haste to ram this measure through has given way to common sense and leadership among the City councilmembers. At the end of the day, we are all after the same goal: to put our people back to work and restore our businesses. Bill 80 (2020)'s unintended consequences would have resulted in the complete opposite occurring.
I've had several conversations with Council Chair Kobayashi on this matter and am very grateful for her leadership. Please join me in expressing our sincerest mahalo to Chair Kobayashi for this decision as well as Councilmembers Carol Fukunaga, Heidi Tsuneyoshi, and Brandon Elefante for their early opposition. Our office will continue to monitor Bill 80 (2020) for any further updates.
Prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in Hawai'i, before we really knew the extent to which we would be affected, I floated the idea of staycations as a means for local residents to both infuse revenue into the tourism economy and to take advantage of excellent kama'āina rates. In the latest Sunday edition of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, there was an article that reported some of the great kamaʻāina rates that are available right now.
Among the resorts mentioned, you would find 'Alohilani Resort, Aqua-Aston Hospitality properties, Aulani A Disney Resort & Spa, Marriott Bonvoy, three Sheraton properties, five Outrigger hotels in Waikiki, the Prince Waikiki, as well as the Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club all advertising kamaʻāina rates and other specials. Please take a moment to check it out and consider visiting one of our local lodging properties to see the outstanding work they've done to prepare for tourism to resume.
I am confident that you'll be as impressed as I have been.
Food Drive Opportunity
As you know, the Hawaiʻi Lodging and Tourism Association has been working hard providing food distribution opportunities for the thousands of impacted hospitality workers during this pandemic.
I have been made aware of several upcoming smaller food distributions to be hosted by the Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints on Saturday, November 7th throughout the City & County of Honolulu. This JustServe project of the Church would also like to target our hospitality workers.
There will be four sites at their Chapel parking lots in Kalihi, Waipahu, Makakilo, and Kaneohe operating from 10am - 12 noon, with 150 bags per location and all will be given on a first come, first served basis. There will be no registration, and it will be limited to one care package per vehicle. Church volunteers and LDS missionaries will be coordinating these food distributions. They are very aware of the challenges facing our industry and want to support our furloughed employees. Please feel free to circulate this among your staff.
Should you have any questions, please contact Kathy Kamauu, the CC Hawaii JustServe Specialist, at KathyKamauu@gmail.com or you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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