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Hawaii News

Counties’ bills include tax and lifeguard issues

KAILUA-KONA >> Representatives of Hawaii’s four county councils are submitting a package of bills to state lawmakers that cover a range of issues, from hotel taxes to liability protection for lifeguards.

The Hawaii State Association of Counties met last month to organize the bills, which will go before lawmakers when the legislative session starts Jan. 18, West Hawaii Today reported.

In one bill, counties are seeking a larger share of the 9.25 percent tax on hotel and vacation rentals. They want the state to get rid of a cap placed on revenue from the tax, which resulted in the counties splitting $103 million the last two years.

Another proposal aims to make permanent a measure giving counties that provide lifeguard services on state beaches protection from lawsuits. Proponents say the limited liability protection is necessary because some counties wouldn’t provide lifeguard services at state beach parks with-out it.

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  • Lifeguard services on state beaches cannot be protected from lawsuits when a lifeguard willfully fails to follow standards, innocent people are hurt or worse. There must be accountability, no free rides.

    Do your job to standard and you will be fine. Fail, you deserve to be sued.

  • Every body wants more tax dollars, but we worked for that $ and earned it so keep your mitts off, even when I decide to stay at a hotel. Also Free Lanai! Get Maui out of Lanai, Maui plans go home, Maui cops go home, Lanai can take care of Lanai.

  • If the counties want to get a larger share of the Transient Accommodations Tax, then they should not attempt to take Honolulu County’s share.

    Also, they should support a reduction in the amount of money the state is skimming from the Honolulu County GET rail surcharge.

    Without these two elements, Oahu legislators should kill these bills.

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