Year in Review – 2009 Legislation Recap

Here’s a quick recap of three pieces of real-estate related state legislation passed in 2009 that impact our Hawaii community:

  • Solar Water Heater Law: Hawaii has become the first state in the nation to require the installation of solar water heating systems on new single-family homes, as of January 1, 2010.  There are exceptions.  Read more about the solar power legislation.
  • The Clothesline Act: This law prohibits any outright ban on outdoor clotheslines for single-family home owners and townhouse owners.  The purpose of the law is to reduce energy use and dependence on motorized clothes dryers.  Governor Linda Lingle vetoed a similar bill in 2008, but noted that the act that passed this year does allow homeowners associations to enforce reasonable restrictions on the placement of clotheslines.  Read Governor Lingle’s statement to the Senate regarding Act 192.
  • Transient Accommodations Tax: A 1% increase in the TAT took effect this summer, but vacation rental owners should note that another 1% increase will take effect on July 1, 2010.  The TAT is imposed on gross rental income from transient accommodations, which are defined as living accommodations rented for less than 180 days. Read the Department of Taxation Announcement.

Also, drivers are reminded that the ban on using mobile electronic devices while driving goes into effect in Hawaii County on January 1. And, in 2010, the deadline to file General Excise Tax forms changes from the last day of the month to the 20th of the month.

We hope these reminders will help you be prepared for a wonderful new year.

Hau’oli Makahiki Hou!


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