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Gordon Y.K. Pang

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B&B tax bill up for final vote

The Honolulu City Council on Wednesday is scheduled to take a final vote on a bill establishing how owners of vacation rentals are to be taxed, and three Council members have introduced different floor draft proposals to help ease the burden on those now operating previously permitted “whole home” transient vacation units. Read more

BRUCE ASATO / BASATO@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Mayor to sign bill to help expedite the construction of certain buildings and other structures by establishing a process called Special Assignment Inspections (SAI), or “courtesy inspections.” The new law will allow some construction activity to begin while building permit applications are still being reviewed. Mayor Caldwell presents a copy of the signed Bill 24 to Gladys Quinto Marrone, CEO of BIA Hawaii at the signing ceremony.
City affordable housing rent caps might be lifted

In an effort to ease Oahu’s housing crunch, the city in May passed the Affordable Rental Housing Bill, which provides tax waivers and other incentives to property owners who agree to rent most of their units to median- and lower-income families at federally established guideline rates of no more than about $1,500-$2,000 a month for one- or two-bedroom units. Read more

CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Supporters of Bill 40, which bans single-use plastic, held signs, banners and brought a collection of plastic bags Thursday to the City Council chambers.
Foodware plastics ban bill advances

Oahu would have the state’s strictest law against single-use, oil-based plastic containers and utensils under a bill approved 3-2 by the Honolulu City Council. Read more

Bill creating B&B tax category advances

Two people operating short-term rentals legally under nonconforming use certificates they received from the city decades ago told the City Council Budget Committee Wednesday that the new vacation rentals law unfairly punishes them by placing their properties into the hotel tax class where they would have to pay much more annually. Read more

DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM
                                Construction continues on the rail route as it turns toward Daniel K. Inouye International Airport.
Council, Caldwell OK rail bond spending

Without the fanfare of past similar votes, the Honolulu City Council and Mayor Kirk Caldwell signed off on a bill clearing the way for the city to spend up to $214 million in taxpayer dollars for the over-budget $9.2 billion East Kapolei-to-Ala Moana rail project. Read more

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