Hawaii Accommodation Tax | Highest in US

Honolulu Latest to Hike New Accommodation Tax: Highest in US

More taxes are confirmed for your Hawaii hotel or vacation rental. Prepare for some sticker shock.

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230 thoughts on “Honolulu Latest to Hike New Accommodation Tax: Highest in US”

  1. Most discouraged with the news of this increase – between requests from the Governor to stay away, and the new burdensome taxes, high cost of flights and fees to get to Hawaii, the tourists are being discouraged to ever return. Many go to Mexico instead, where they are greeted with open arms by the folks of Mexico, that don’t receive subsidies to not work, WANT the business and cater to the tourists. It has been made so difficult to get to Hawaii I fear the folks just won’t return to pay the higher taxes. The islands are beautiful, but you have ruined the atmosphere. The government officials that call out these increased fees, still receive their paychecks/benefits/pensions, but the people of the islands and those that invested in real estate are left shafted. No one needs $100Million marketing campaign – the islands sell themselves if you provide the aloha spirit – something that has been taken from us.

  2. My wife and I have actually have met Hawaii HTA CEO Mr John DeFries on the Big Island of Hawaii. He listened as my wife and I shared our stories of our many trips to the Islands(Good and Bad)before he let us know he was appointed to the position back in April 2020. It was an interesting conversation to hear how he is trying to run an organization where you have Government, Hotel and Lodging interests, Mainlanders, Native Residents and Medical Leaders who all have interests and opinions on how to keep Hawaiis tourism running. That is a lot of people knocking on your door. While I can’t speak to the issues around whether or not the monies being given to the HTA is worthwhile, I do know that Mr. De Fries heart and efforts are in the right place. He is trying to do what is right for Hawaii by addressing the needs of all and maintaining Hawaiis cultural awareness and history. He is the right man for the job and his efforts should be commended.

  3. We have been visiting all the islands since 1984. We have a trip already planned and paid for, to Kauai this year and a trip to Hawaii early next year. Our son happens to be stationed there until the middle of next year. He is the only reason we visit now, and we will never return. Perhaps that sentiment makes locals happy. The islands, as the world in general, have drastically changed over the years. For visitors who are new to the islands, they still have so much of paradise to offer. Unfortunately we find the aloha spirit difficult to find, the crowds hard to navigate, and the price gouging discouraging.

  4. We have been going to Hawaii (Kauai) each year for many years. We contribute to the economy and significantly to various charities for the Hawaiian people we have grown to love and admire. We think this accommodation tax is the wrong path to choose. It just continues to give the sense that you will penalize visitors for the lack of oversight and leadership you yourself should deal with. We are vaccinated and hoping to return in 2022. We have enough obstacles to deal with, why add more, especially if you need the tourist economy?

  5. Aloha BOH Bro’s

    An additional new tax isn’t going to slow tourist from coming to Hawaii. Only when there’s an economic down turn probably after the midterm elections will you see tourism slow to the islands.

    By the way today I saw a big price drop for fall travel to the islands on Costco Travel. It appears resorts are feeling the cancellation crunch.

  6. With the proposed business, corporate, capital gain, and other tax increases attendant to the 3.5 trillion dollar spending bill now pending before Congress, one must wonder why Hawaii desires to add to those flow-through price increases.

  7. What grips me are the daily resort fees. I’ve given up on Hawaii after 30 years of visiting there. Aloha

  8. What do we do as part-time resisdents and making our home avaiable for vacatian renters the remainder of year??? We have solid bookings thru June of 2022, with signed contracts at the lower rate. Do we just eat the 3%??? this has happened before, We should have some kind of grace period to adjust our rates and contracts.

  9. Be careful what you wish for.. They did say to stop visiting well their wish is going to come true. Even locals were complaining of the tourism that it was destroying Hawaii well soon they will be able to keep Hawaii to themselves again. But they don’t remember how it was before tourism came into Hawaii which provided jobs for locals. It saddens me because over the last 10 years we’ve gone back to the different Hawaii islands regularly. It looks like our recent June trip is going to be one of our last ones to Hawaii for a very long time. I cannot justify spending 1000+ dollars in taxes and fees for a rental. Places that have high lodging taxes I avoid visiting which I know many other people do too. The wonderful things of this world is that there are many gorgeous places to visit when things like this happen it encourages people. Sometimes we get complacent and do the easy thing and return to the paradise we already know. This forces us to explore outside of Hawaii. Yes, Hawaii is paradise but not the only Paradise. I will miss it but I’m excited to be forced out of my comfort zone. It will only get better after 2022 when I’m 2023 international tourism opens up.

    1. We’ve been going 50 years, we met IZ, AND HIS replacements. I’ve been 7 times I think maui, 7 times big island, only 1 kauai (our first attempt was year iniki hit). Probably 35 times Oahu and I still love her, sailed back from her 1998 to sf. I made friends with owners of little Waikiki hotel, helped feral cat groups etc. I don’t want to give up on them. My mom got mad 30 yrs ago when I had diamond head tattood on my ankle, now she’s proud. For maui diehards give Oahu a chance! The smell in the air, and blowing of palm trees is mesmerizing. I’m just sorry my mom can’t go back she’s 88, and I don’t wanna go without her.

  10. Hi guys, I have to agree with everyone that has spoken thus far. It will turn the islands into a ” rich man’s paradise”. Only the wealthy can afford to go there now with the new tax. Once something goes up, it’s hard to reverse it. Sad. Thanks for the update.

  11. Thanks for the update, BOH. Not sure if I missed this in the article… what is GST? Obviously, some type of tax. 😉

  12. Americans hate to pay taxes. Hawaii is an expensive place to visit. Everything is more expensive than when I first visited, as an adult, in the seventies. What isn’t?

    There are lots of places I cannot visit in the US because I’m not crazy rich. But, my family and I will still visit Hawaii when appropriate because we choose to not because we feel entitled to.

  13. Our home is a vacation rental when we are off island, and is booked solid (including us) through next summer. I suspect not a single one of them will cancel over the tax increase, but we’ll find out.

    And, if the consequence of this tax increase is that there are fewer tourists, very few people on Kauai will complain. Even the people who show up and pay all the taxes will be a little better off with less other tourists here at the same time.

  14. There will come a time when Hawaii will tax itself out of the tourism market if this continues, especially when hotels are raising prices, trying to recoup money lost due to COVID closures. Visitors will start looking more seriously at other tropical locations that cost less to visit.

    Thanks for keeping us up to date.

  15. Definitely an increase in taxes for hotel and resorts accommodation will not motivate tourists like me to visit Hawaii. It is already so expensive the way it is now. They are already charging tourists for everything. A paradise vacation that we are looking for may not be a Paradise after all.

  16. Thank you for the information. This makes my condo rental on Kaua’i even less competitive. TAT and GET makes it close to 20%. At some point vacation folks will look for other places to stay.

  17. I think its absolutely suicide for the county of Kauai, tenants are already paying nearly 15% and now its going to be 18% on a $5,000 room stay that’s an additonal $900. WTH, there will be a time when the vacationers will start to look elsewhere as they already have, to spend their hard earned money, the answer isn’t always taxing the people that put food on our plates, its better management of the existing funds at the county level, that is what we need. Look at the job the Mayor did during the pandemic. Terrible I say. Let me ask everyone, are you better off today than before the pandemic? Ask the Mayor if he gave up 1/2 of his salary. You know he didn’t.

  18. Hawaii is in big trouble, failed Leadership at Governor. Governor Ige trying to overcome shortfalls during his Lock-down, purloined the Sales Tax Revenue from Maui, Kauia, Lanai, the Big Island and placed in the States General Fund, now the roller coaster of Mayor’s who during the Lock-down had the in-employed collecting lucrative State Un-Employment + Federal $300.00, when things got better in late Spring, business could not get people to come back to work, the Bain of all the high unemployment States, NY, NJ, Ct., Pa., Mi., Ill., Wisc., Wa. Ore., Ca. and NM, all over 7%. With Hawaii’s Plan more then $500,000,000.00 upside down, and now the ongoing dog-and-pony show over Masks, Vac’s, has stalled a great rebirth in Tourism, people will choose other locations, Hawaii is great, Paradise, but normal Airfare’s, today’s Car Rental Situation, Limited Dining, will challenge even the largest Hotel Groups, if expectations and diminished Value are there from previous experience. The Japanese are sophisticated travelers now, they’re not back yet, it seems there is a backlash against Mainland folks, given the luxury of big Paychecks and and the reduced traffic that was brought on by the Tourism slowdown from March 2019. Confusion over Masks, there and in transit, talk of Vac’s Mandates and moving away from the “72 Hour Test”, will kill Tourism with this Tax! This January would be my 85 trip to the Islands, all 7-10 days, all Moana, Royal Hawaiian, Hyatt (Kaanapali, Poipu and Waikiki) Ritz Carlton going back to the Stouffer Waiohai and Wailea (later Rennassaince, now Hyatt) in the late 1980’s.

  19. Hi, I enjoy your newsletter and look forward to each one. My husband and I have been coming to Hawaii since 1968. I know, we’re old 😊. We missed our March trip this year and are really looking forward to our 2022 trip. However, it really seems that the elected officials want to put the burden of their poor decisions solely on the faithful tourists. If these taxes go up much more it will certainly cause many to look elsewhere.
    Debbie S


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