Bills proposing taxes on short-term vacation rentals and real estate investment trusts are among 20 measures that Hawaii Gov. David Ige may reject.

Ige said the Honolulu City Council’s recent passage of Bill 89, which seeks to limit the number of short term vacation rentals on Oahu, factored into his decision to veto Senate Bill 1292, which proposed the tax on those rentals.

“Our concern is that any action we take be complementary to actions taken at the county level,” Ige said during a news conference Monday at the State Capitol.

Senate Bill 301, which proposed a 6.4% corporate income tax on real estate investment trusts, could also be vetoed.

Ige said that potential loss of revenue if REITs invest less in Hawaii could offset potential benefits.

Governor David Ige during veto presser.
On Monday the governor identified 20 bills that are on his veto-intent list. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Lawmakers projected that new corporate tax could generate an additional $10 million every year, while the proposed tax on vacation rentals could amount to $46 million a year to fund some of the largest appropriations that came out of the Legislature this year.

Other bills on Ige’s intent to veto list include ones that would allow the inter-island transportation of medical cannabis by qualified patients, prohibit the sale of location data to third-parties and prohibit civil asset forfeiture unless the property owner is a convicted felon.

But the governor is not going to reject bills decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana, establishing all mail-in voting statewide and allowing for automatic recounts of close elections.

Ige has until July 9 to sign, veto or let bills become law without his signature. The Hawaii Legislature can then decide whether to convene an override session.

In a statement after the governor’s press conference, House Speaker Scott Saiki said his caucus would meet Tuesday to discuss the veto list and would also consult with Senate leadership.

“If an override session is not held, any vetoed measures can be reintroduced in the 2020 legislative session,” said Saiki. “We will use this interim to address the governor’s objections to vetoed bills.”

Meanwhile, the Senate is also reviewing Ige’s veto list and considering any actions that may be appropriate, Senate spokesman Richard Rapoza said.

This is a developing story. Check back later for updates.

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