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Saturday, March 10, 2012
Attorney: Discrimination Against 'Non-Residents' is Unconstitutional
By News Release @ 3:45 PM :: 5225 Views :: Energy, Environment

Popular Travel Site Raises Concern About New Hawaiian Bill

 

News Release from Rentini, LLC.

NEW YORK, March 9, 2012 -- /PRNewswire/ -- Many of you are familiar with vacation rental websites. A homeowner lists their property on the site; guests browse the selection and rent the house of their choice. These sites allow the homeowner to manage his or her property independently and hassle free. For homeowners in the state of Hawaii, this is about to change.

Two controversial bills are making their way through the Hawaii Legislature. The bills, SB 2089 and HB 1706, would require non-resident owners of Hawaiian vacation rentals to hire local property managers to manage their homes and collect their revenue. These new laws could mean a dramatic financial loss to homeowners. Some non-resident Hawaiian homeowners have expressed dismay at having to surrender large percentages of their gross revenue to property managers. However, those pushing the Bills claim the purpose is to force non-resident owners to pay the proper taxes. Critics have hit back saying these Bills are not the solution to the tax problems, and will in fact impact heavily on Hawaii's real estate market.

Rentini (http://www.rentini.com), a vacation rental website that has properties all over the world, including Hawaii, is concerned about how this Bill will affect the future of vacation rentals. Rentini, and other similar vacation rental websites, have built themselves up to be a platform for homeowners wanting to manage their vacation rentals independently. If the bills pass, the majority of Hawaiian properties would have to be taken off the private home rental circuit and be managed in bulk by property management companies.

Disgruntled homeowners have banded together to oppose the Bill, writing to the House Representatives and started petitions and action groups. Many have stated they will have to sell if the Bills are passed, further damaging the property values in Hawaii. Others believe they will have to raise their rental prices to cover the costs, which will impact heavily on the Hawaiian tourism industry.

Gregory Kugle, the attorney for Hawaiian Vacation Rental Owners Association, wrote a letter opposing the bill on constitutional grounds. Kugle stated that the Bill discriminates against non-residents through the Equal Protection, Privileges and Immunities and Commerce Clauses and therefore, according to the Constitution, the Bill should be invalid.

Despite these protests, on March 6, 2012, SB 2089 passed the Third Reading by the Committee and the Bill is scheduled to be heard on Monday, March 12 9:30 AM in the House. For more information on these Bills, head to http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov and http://blog.rentini.com.

---30---

About Rentini, LLC.

Rentini is a vacation rental website designed for travelers to easily plan their vacation, and for homeowners to seamlessly manage their second home without the stress or hassle. Homeowners are provided with all the necessary tools to manage their rental, while travelers can easily navigate their way through the site to choose the perfect spot for their next holiday and complete the transaction in a matter of minutes.

Press Inquiries:Samantha McConnell, Rentini LLC., 646-801-5554, Samantha@rentini.com

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