2024 Maui Hotel & Lodging’s Legislative Priorities:
MHLA’s overall commitment is to foster a tourism industry that respects the needs of residents, contributes positively to the local economy, and maintains the integrity of Maui as a world-class destination.
MHLA recognizes the urgent need for comprehensive and compassionate support for Maui residents displaced by recent fires. The devastating impact on homes and communities demands a swift and effective response to the immediate housing crisis. We encourage collaboration among government agencies, non-profit organizations, and community stakeholders to pool resources and expertise. A coordinated effort is essential to efficiently address the multifaceted challenges of providing housing solutions for those affected by the fires. We support the development and implementation of attainable housing initiatives tailored to the specific needs of displaced residents. This may include expedited approvals for temporary housing structures, financial assistance programs, and partnerships with local builders to construct affordable housing units rapidly. Additionally, we call for a review of regulatory barriers that may hinder the swift deployment of housing solutions. This includes streamlining permitting processes and temporarily relaxing certain zoning restrictions to facilitate the rapid construction of temporary and permanent housing options.
MHLA firmly advocates for the allocation of financial resources to support Maui businesses that have been adversely affected by the Maui fires. We recognize the vital role that local businesses play in the economic fabric of Maui. They contribute significantly to job creation, community development, and the overall well-being of residents. Providing financial support to these businesses is crucial for the economic recovery and sustainability of the island. By directing funds to Maui businesses, we aim to preserve existing jobs and stimulate the creation of new employment opportunities. Supporting businesses ensures that they can maintain their workforce, fostering stability and growth within the local job market. By taking a proactive stance in supporting Maui businesses through targeted funding initiatives, we believe that we can contribute to the island's economic recovery, resilience, and long-term prosperity. This approach aligns with our commitment to fostering a vibrant and sustainable business environment for the benefit of all residents of Maui.
MHLA recognizes the critical importance of water infrastructure and transmission systems in Maui County for sustaining communities, agriculture, and the environment. By adopting these principles and actively participating in collaborative efforts, we believe that Maui County can ensure a resilient, sustainable, and equitable water infrastructure and transmission system that meets the community's needs while preserving the island's natural resources. The Visitor industry provides $230 million or 54% of total Real Property Tax (RPT) and is estimated to bring in $60 million in MCAT. It is time to use those funds for additional water infrastructure and transmission.
MHLA supports an equitable and transparent taxation system that considers the economic contributions of the tourism industry while ensuring fairness for all stakeholders. Tax burdens should be distributed proportionately and reflect a balance between the community's needs and the hospitality sector's economic viability. County Real Property taxes continue to increase yearly, even though increased property value assessments generate a substantial increase in tax revenues. This situation is not sustainable, and MHLA will continue to lobby for property tax relief on the county level. On the state level, we oppose any bills aimed at raising taxes or fees on the industry, especially when attempting to reemerge from the pandemic and now the Maui fires. We will advocate for existing assessed fees to have a nexus and fund areas such as infrastructure, parks, destination management efforts, and enforcement of illegal vacation rentals. Recognizing the vulnerability of relying solely on tourism-related revenue, MHLA supports efforts to diversify the local economy. Taxes and fees should be structured to encourage investment in other sectors, promoting long-term economic stability for the community. By adhering to these principles, MHLA aims to contribute to developing a taxation system that supports the economic health of Maui while maintaining a sustainable and competitive tourism industry. This balanced approach aligns with our commitment to the well-being of the hospitality sector and the broader community.
The Maui Hotel and Lodging Association recognizes the critical importance of effective destination management in preserving the natural beauty, cultural heritage, and economic vitality of Maui. MHLA is committed to promoting and implementing sustainable tourism practices that minimize the environmental impact of tourism activities. This includes our continued work with HTA and CNHA on the Maui Nui Destination Management Action Plan (DMAP), supporting initiatives to conserve natural resources, reduce waste, and preserve Maui's unique ecosystems for the benefit of both residents and visitors. Embracing innovative solutions and technology is essential for effective destination management. MHLA supports the integration of smart technologies, data analytics, and other tools to enhance visitor experiences, optimize resource utilization, and manage tourism flows efficiently.
For the entire 2024 Position Statements listing CLICK HERE
Maui Hotel & Lodging Association is the collective voice of members in Maui County and we must advocate together as one voice to our State and County leaders. Be a part of our advocacy efforts! Join the MHLA Member Advocacy Committee and receive alerts on bills affecting our members, get training on how to monitor hearings for the State and County, and learn how to submit testimony.
To Join the Advocacy Committee CLICK HERE