Mayor Victorino to Pursue TAT Tax to Help Mitigate Tourism Impacts to Maui County
* Updated April 28, 4:15 PM
Earlier this week, state legislators approved a measure that would take Transient Accommodations Tax (TAT) revenues away from Counties, but allow them to make up for lost funding with an additional tax surcharge of up to 3 percent to be added to the existing 10.25 percent rate charged by the state of Hawaiʻi.
Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino said he does not support the state’s decision, but is considering the probable new revenue stream as a way to help mitigate some the financial impacts of tourism.
“I’d like to see 1 percent go toward the development of affordable and attainable workforce housing, 1 percent for emergency services including ocean, land and air rescues, and 1 percent to fund visitor education and cultural restoration throughout Maui County,” he said.
Mayor Victorino described the loss of TAT funding as a “blow,” “especially since the counties provide services for millions of visitors each year including police and fire protection, parks and road maintenance, and waste disposal. A new County tax surcharge can help to offset some of these costs. I look forward to working with the Maui County Council on this initiative,” he said.
If enacted, the new 3 percent Maui County TAT tax surcharge would be levied on all stays at hotel rooms, licensed vacation rental units and other short-term accommodations. The mayor believes the surcharge will serve as an incentive for Maui County to crack down on the growing number of illegal vacation rentals that don’t pay TAT.