Maui, Hawaii visitors could soon be hit with higher taxes as officials rush to impose a new tax rate.
Hawaii counties can now implement a 3% tax increase on hotels and rentals on top of the existing 10%.
Counties are allowed to keep the 3% for their own use while the 10% goes back to the state.
Tourists traveling to Maui, Hawaii could soon be hit with higher taxes, the Associated Press reported.
On July 6, lawmakers in the state overrode Hawaii Gov. David Ige's veto of a bill that allows counties to implement their own 3% increase to the "transient accommodations tax," which targets short-term rentals like hotels. The bill also included changes to the funding of the Hawaii Tourism Authority.
Now, officials in Maui are working to implement this tax change "as soon as [they] can," Alice Lee, Maui County's council chair, told Hawaii News Now's Chelsea Davis.
Before this, Hawaii had a 10% hotel tax rate, and the state then dolled this money out to every county. However, Oahu, Hawaii typically received most of the funds due to its bigger population size, even though Maui receives more tourists per capita.
"Maui is just overrun with tourists," Sylvia Luke, a state representative, told Hawaii News Now.
But now, counties can set and keep their own additional 3% tax increase on top of the existing 10%, which will still go back to the state.
This move could almost triple Maui's revenue, according to Lee. However, some tourists say this new law is "taking advantage" of visitors, especially as Hawaii is being slammed with summer vacationers again.
Brian Perry, a spokesman for Maui County mayor Michael Victorino, previously told Hawaii News Now's Rick Daysog that the county has "lacked sufficient time to prepare for the sudden, large influx of tourism, even as health restrictions remain in place."
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