Official: Thousands of vacation home owners dodge taxes

Official: Thousands of vacation home owners dodge taxes
(Image: Hawaii News Now/File)

HILO, Hawaii (AP) - A Hawaii tourism official says owners of more than 6,000 vacation homes on the Big Island have collected money from short-term renters without registering with the state or paying required taxes.

Ross Birch, executive director of the Island of Hawaii Visitors, presented the data last week to the Hawaii County Council.

West Hawaii Today reports that the county and the state are working on several measures to fix the problem.

The county's bill to hold owners accountable is on hold amid a Board of Ethics review into whether North Kona Councilwoman Karen Eoff has a conflict of interest because she owns a vacation condo in the Vacation District.

The state's bill would provide a mechanism for brokers such as Airbnb to collect taxes on behalf of the state.

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