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Hints of Progress at Laniakea

When I again asked for a commitment to either complete or cancel the Laniakea Traffic Alternatives Study a few weeks ago, the Acting Director of Highways said the Department of Transportation (DOT) would do neither. He claims that if the alternatives study were completed, the department would not have funds to proceed with any improvement; and, if the project were canceled, it would be too hard to restart later. He emphasized the priority is to focus on system preservation and to not consider any new capacity projects over the foreseeable horizon. Two days later, I got a message from a property owner near Laniakea who received an invitation to a meeting with DOT planners about possible Lan

Vacation Rental Tax Collection Bill

The Senate is moving two bills related to tax collection of vacation rental income. SB 2999 would provide amnesty for vacation rental operators who have not been paying the taxes required by law. SB 2963 creates a process for a host company, like Airbnb, to collect GET and TAT taxes from online bookings and pass them on to the State. I vigorously opposed previous attempts to allow Airbnb to collect and submit these taxes, because the authorizing legislation would have provided a defensive shield and appearance of legality for the vacation rental owners, most of whom operate outside the law. One version of the bill made it all the way to Governor Ige's desk, but he vetoed it. Last year, we

New Legislation and Town Hall Meeting

The starting gun has been fired; the race is on; thousands of big ideas are now competing for attention and support; the 2018 Legislative Session has begun. The excitement and comradery of Opening Day will soon fade as, inevitably, controversial measures surface. Every year seems to bring one or two hot button issues. Two weeks into the session, a better picture of which bills are moving will come into view. With this in mind, Representatives Quinlan and Matsumoto and I invite you to a Town Hall Meeting on Wednesday, January 31st, 6:30 pm, at Waialua Elementary School. Rep. Quinlan and I will host another Town Hall at Hauula Elementary School on Thursday, February 1st, at 6:30 pm. Scott

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