How Condominium Associations Can Finance Capital Projects

Aging condominium buildings are common across Hawaii, which is a growing concern in the aftermath of the tragic collapse of the Champlain Towers South in Florida. This preventable tragedy is being traced back to repair and maintenance issues. Like Florida, Hawaii structures are equally susceptible to high humidity and damaging salt air.  Since Hawaii is a very expensive place to live, there is often a mindset keeping HOA fees to a minimum. Budgeting for major capital improvements of significant [...]

Additional Transient Accommodations Tax Begins Nov. 1

It just got a little more expensive to stay in a hotel or vacation rental in Maui County. Bill 101- creating a 3% transient accommodations tax, unanimously passed the Maui County Council on October 1st.  The MCTAT is levied at a rate of 3 percent on every taxpayer that has taxable gross short-term rental proceeds and/or total fair market rental value attributable to the County of Maui. The MCTAT is imposed in addition to the State TAT, which is currently levied at a rate of 10.25 percent. Maui’s [...]

Are Hawaii’s Tall Buildings at Risk?

Last month’s collapse of a condo building in Florida is bringing up questions about building safety and insurance in Hawaii. Tower collapse risks are extremely low. However, Hawaii buildings are affected by salt air and close proximity to the ocean- some of the same stresses that might have contributed to the Florida collapse. Unlike Florida, large structures in Hawaii are not required to be re-inspected or certified after they are built and approved. This gap has surfaced in the past, including [...]

How D&O Coverage Protects an Association

Volunteers are the lifeblood of every home owners association and other organizations; without these leaders the vital work of the group couldn’t move forward. But as with anything, a misdirection or certain actions could lead to claims of wrongdoing. To protect association directors and officers against such claims and allow them to make the best decisions for the association they represent, a specific type of liability insurance is recommended- Directors and Officers (D&O) insurance. D&amp [...]

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 [...]

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