Local Connection: Hotel Room Tax - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Local Connection: Hotel Room Tax

By: Rick Blangiardi

The conventional wisdom has been whenever we need to raise new taxes, it's best to raise them on our tourism industry.

But that's shortsighted. Tourism is still our no. 1 industry but if we are too overly aggressive on going to the well too often, we may just kill the golden goose.

The transient accommodations tax, or the hotel room tax, was set to expire in 2015. Over the past two years, however, it was raised one percent each year to its current 9.25 percent.

One recent proposal was to raise it another 2 percent but cooler heads prevailed.

The Hawaii tourism authority will get an $82 million share of the proceeds, an $11 million increase over what it now gets.

Now that hotels know that the tax will stay as is, they can better plan their futures. And they know there won't be another raid on what they bring in.

We believe that's good common sense and a rational compromise.

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