Wednesday, June 26, 2019
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Saturday, July 30, 2016
Maui County set to strangle Airbnb
By Grassroot Institute @ 11:37 PM :: 2710 Views :: Maui County

Maui County set to strangle Airbnb, other short-term housing

by Matthew Reade, Grassroot Institute, July 27, 2016

Officials in Maui County are set to impose stringent standards upon short-term housing permitting while serving Airbnb hosts with harsh civil penalties.

The proposed changes to the county code, which will take effect upon the approval of the county council, will force Maui residents to meet a new five-year residency requirement or to maintain a minimum property value of $1 million before they may seek out a short-term housing permit. The county also may no longer choose to refrain from issuing fines under the new rules, which means that all Airbnb hosts who lack the proper permitting will face a severe crackdown from county authorities.

But by mandating enforcement of the county’s ban on unpermitted short-term rentals, government officials will strangle the short-term housing market, draining tourism dollars from the island and garroting the innovative shared economy which has developed there. With over 3,000 rentals offered on Maui through Airbnb alone, the economic impact of this crackdown could be severe on residents themselves, many of whom rely upon home sharing as a crucial supplement to their incomes in a pricey housing market.

Though county officials are right to be frustrated with noncompliant short-term rentals, adding more regulation is not the solution to the problem; rather, the regulation is the problem. Before even applying for a short-term rental permit, a Maui resident must obtain two tax licenses, both of which are also subject to a lengthy application process.

Once these licenses have been acquired, the short-term rental application process may finally begin. Applicants must submit over 20 different documents to the Maui Planning Department, including detailed floor plans of their homes as well as a boundary map. The application even suggests “hiring an experienced draftsperson” to complete some of these items, as they are much too complex for the average homeowner to complete herself.

Once this is all done, the homeowner may submit her application, but the county will take “several months” to “completely process” it. Coupled with the time taken to supply the necessary documentation for the permit, a homeowner in Maui would be lucky to complete the permitting process in less than year.

With so many barriers to legal home sharing under the new rules, homeowners will not bother trying to obtain short-term housing permits. Instead, they will remove their spare rooms from the Airbnb service, opting to struggle to make ends meet without the critical supplemental income which home sharing provides rather than endure heavy fines from overzealous county officials.

And let’s not pretend that these new regulations will increase the supply of affordable housing on Maui. According to a 2015 survey, only about 10 percent of Hawaii’s Airbnb users rent out a second home, while most remaining hosts share space in their primary residences. Punishing these homeowners will not increase capacity in Maui’s housing market; it will instead create inefficiency, leaving spaces which otherwise would be rented out on Airbnb completely unutilized.

Cracking down on home sharing will also cut off a crucial source of income for many Maui residents. Over three-fifths of Hawaii’s Airbnb hosts say that renting a room has helped them stay in their homes, while one-in-five have avoided foreclosure thanks to their Airbnb income.

Instead of criminalizing innovation, Maui should embrace the shared economy and recognize that onerous regulation is at fault for the county’s permitting frustrations, not Airbnb.



TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


808 Silent Majority

808 State Update AM940


ACA Signups Hawaii


Affordable Hawaii Coalition


Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Conservative Alliance

Aloha Life Advocates

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Mothers of Hawaii



Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Audit The Rail

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii 

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust

CAFR Hawaii

Castaway Conservative

Children's Alliance Hawaii

Children's Rights Institute

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Citizens for Recall

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

Conservative Forum for Hawaii

CSIS Pacific Forum

DAR Hawaii

DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

E Māua Ola i Moku o Keawe

Farmers For Choice Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Get Off Your Butts!

God, Freedom, America

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aganst Assisted Suicide

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crime Victims' Rights

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defending Marriage

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Families for Educational Choice

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Firearm Community

Hawaii Fishermen's Alliance

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii Meth Project

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Right to Life -- Big Island

Hawaii Right to Life -- Oahu

Hawaii Shield Law Coalition

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Heritage Foundation

HI Coalition Against Legalized Gambling



Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Homeless Crisis

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

Horns of Jericho Blog

House Minority Blog

House Republican Caucus YouTube


Hump Day Report

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

Judgepedia Hawaii

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes


Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii


National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons 

Pro-GMO Hawaii


Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Salvage The Rail

Save the Plastic Bag

School Choice in Hawaii

SIFE Remington

SIFE W. Oahu 

Sink the Jones Act

Smart About Marijuana--Hawaii

St Marianne Cope

State Budget Solutions Hawaii

State Policy Network

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Harriet Tubman Agenda

The Long War Journal

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii