Monday, July 2, 2012

Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie Undecided About HB 2078

Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie
photo by Stateside Associates

On July 2, 2012 I called Governor Neil Abercrombie's office to discover if he had signed HB 2078 into law. The highly controversial measure aims to regulate the vacation rental home industry and was signed by the legislature May 1. It was slated to become effective July 1, 2012 though the governor still has until July 10 to either sign or veto it. He has done neither, and his recent press release indicating which bills he intends to veto did not include HB 2078. His staff said that the bill is still under review, and that there is still time for the public to express their opinions.

Governor Neil Abercrombie Decides Fate of HB 2078 by July 10, 2012

EasyClickTravel.comThe overwhelming testimony provided by stakeholders in this sector of the tourist industry, specifically the cottage industry of vacation rentals, was opposed, yet Hawaii's legislators still passed the bill. It will become effective July 1, 2012, expire December 31, 2015, and anyone who willfully disobeys it will face a stiff penalty, a fine up to $25,000. Thousands of properties are second homes or investments for folks who don't live on the islands, who have a significant financial stake
yet no vote.
Hanauma Bay, Oahu
photo by Gisela Leask
For anyone so inclined, the Governor and Lieutenant Governor can be reached at:

The Honorable Neil Abercrombie
Governor, State of Hawai'i

Executive Chambers, 
State Capitol

Honolulu, Hawai'i 96813                                             
Phone: 808-586-0034
Fax: 808-586-0006

The Honorable Brian Schatz
Lieutenant Governor, State of Hawai'i
State Capitol

Honolulu, Hawai'i 96813
Phone: (808) 586-0255

Fax: (808) 586-0231

The real danger inherent in the bill is that anyone viewing an internet ad divulging a property owner's registration number can then obtain his personal contact information from the public Tax Department License Checking page, also easily available through the internet. This poses a serious risk to the vacation rental business owner for identity theft, burglary and/or vandalism. Since the owner is off-island, properties can be cased and then robbed when vacant. Registration numbers may also be used fraudulently by other establishments that are not licensed. Forty-three percent of Hawaii's housing involve rentals, so the impact on property owners is significant.

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1 comment:

  1. Dianne: HB2078 did become law without Governor Abercrombie's signature on July 10, 2012. The Governor had some concerns about the bill, but the potential for identity theft from license numbers in advertising were not among his concerns as expressed in the Governor's Message. For an overview of the new law, I have an article at Here is the link: