Understanding Maui’s Tiered Property Tax Changes

The Maui County Council began considering a tiered tax rate system back in 2018. The tiered scheme for property taxes was initially proposed to increase income from second homes and investment properties, which many have said aggravates Maui County’s housing crisis. There was much media coverage and hearings over the next two years, ultimately passing two resolutions in December of 2019. A subsequent resolution provides a tax exemption for property owners with long-term rentals. However, it was [...]

Vacation Rental Occupancy on the Rise

If Maui streets seem a little more crowded, that is because more tourists are arriving on island. This has resulted in some rebound for the vacation rental market. Overall, hawaii vacation rentals were nearly 50% occupied last month, according to data released Wednesday by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. According to HTA’s monthly Hawaii Vacation Rental Performance Report, vacation rentals throughout the state were 49.8% occupied in February. The figure marks a 34 percentage-point year-over-year d [...]

Create a Post-Pandemic HOA Strategy Plan

There are two paths forward for home owners’ associations in 2021. One is to plan for a return to “business as usual” post pandemic. Another is to re-energize and adapt your HOA to be better equipped for the future through strategic planning. Why Create or Revisit a Strategy Plan? In short, strategic planning involves goal setting, including long-term plans for your community and the path to get there. It allows directors to detach from the issues of day-to-day association management, revisit yo [...]

Maui Property Tax Deferral

People owning property on Maui will have a little longer to pay their property taxes without penalty. Mayor Michael Victorino has authorized a 60-day deferral of the 10 percent penalty for Real Property Taxes due on Feb. 20, 2021. Assessment of the penalty will be deferred through April 21, 2021, to help with the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Taxpayers may make Real Property Tax payments from Feb. 20 to April 21, 2021, without incurring the 10 percent penalty. However, the standard [...]

Insurance Rate Increase Projections for 2021 and Beyond

Has your property insurance gone up for your association? If it hasn't yet, it may be soon. Many factors go into insurance rate increases. This article provides a good overview. Reprinted from the Community Associations Institute, Hawaii Chapter, Quarterly Newsletter, Oct, 2020. By Joshua German For many community associations, their property insurance has been and will be seeing large rate increases. The biggest reason for these rate increases is the cost of reinsurance. Reinsurance is insuranc [...]

Maui Vacation Rental Occupancy Dismal in November

Even though vacation rentals outpaced hotel occupancy in November, numbers are still low, according to the latest data released last week by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. According to HTA’s monthly Hawaii Vacation Rental Performance Report, vacation rentals throughout the state were just under 32% occupied last month, but Maui County's figures dropped even lower than that. For comparison, rental units were 69% occupied across the state in November of 2019. The occupancy rate reflects a unit supp [...]

Airbnb Goes Public During a Pandemic

It’s been a whirlwind year for Airbnb. At the start of 2020, the home-sharing vacation rental company was sitting on billions in cash and was planning a direct listing on the stock market. The pandemic wiped out 90% of bookings, and many were pondering if the company would survive. But bounce back it did, thanks in part to consumers taking “staycations” over the summer. Airbnb filed for its long-awaited public offering on Monday, revealing its past performance, revenue data and trajectory. Some [...]

The State of Hawaii’s Vacation Rental Market

Mid-October's return of tourism could not happen soon enough for Hawaii's suffering vacation rental market. Hawaii Tourism Authority reports that vacation rental units were only 8.8% occupied during the month of September. With the holiday season approaching, hopefully those with vacation rentals will start to seem some positive returns.   According to HTA’s monthly Hawaii Vacation Rental Performance Report, the September, 2020 figure marks a 61 percentage point drop compared to the same month i [...]

Businesses, Commercial Leases and Hardship

COVID-19 is affecting markets differently. While residential real estate seems to be holding somewhat steady in Hawaii, commercial real estate, and the businesses that lease commercial properties, are not faring so well. On Maui, we've lost quite a few restaurants, along with businesses in other categories. Here's an update from Janis Magin, Senior Editor of Pacific Business News: "More than 80% of Hawaii businesses expect their revenue to decrease this year and in 2021 because of the Covid-19 p [...]

Should HOAs Use Reserve Funds to Fill a Budget Gap?

COVID-19 has brought economic hardships to individuals and businesses across the world. Community associations are no exception. For example, there are increased cleaning and maintenance protocols, and higher expenses along with it. At the same time, dues collection can be challenging. Owners cringe at special assessments. Communities may be looking at reserve funds to cover some of these expenses. Reserve funds are typically set up to prepare for future expenses. However, with hardships occurri [...]

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