Media release | Hawaii County Office of the Mayor
County of Hawaii Mayor Billy Kenoi released the following statement today on the new draft of Senate Bill 1186, which would reduce the distribution of the transient accommodations tax (TAT) revenues to the counties:
“We are deeply concerned about the Senate position on the hotel room tax. The Senate proposal to cap the TAT distributions at $85 million for all of the counties represents a deep cut into our second largest source of revenue,” Mayor Kenoi said.
“The Senate draft would hurt all of the counties. We ask that the Senate instead accept the House position, which would cap the TAT distribution at the 2010 level, or about $102 million,” Mayor Kenoi said.
From the time of the establishment of the TAT in 1986, the Legislature planned to make the Counties beneficiaries of the hotel room tax because lawmakers recognized the importance of county facilities and services to support and enhance the visitor experience.
The TAT is distributed to the counties in recognition of the fact that county services are critical to a healthy visitor industry. The counties provide the police officers, firefighters, lifeguards, water and sewer service, transportation infrastructure and other essential services for visitors.