Uber And Lyft Approved For Kahului Airport

Any transportation network companies that have been licensed by the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission or a county agency, will soon be able to do drop-off and pickups at Kahului Airport.

This is the first the rules for commercial services for airport services have been amended since 2002. Uber and Lyft have been testing a pilot program since December last year. The pilot program found there was a need and interest in services at the airport.

The hope is for Maui to test a similar type of pilot program in the middle of September or early October. Honolulu has a designated area for ride share companies to do pick ups. Maui Airport officials have met with Uber and Lyft to hear how other cities do pickups and to make a plan to implement at the Kahului Airport.

Large Scale Solar Project

This past Saturday started Maui’s first large solar project partnership between Maui Electric Company and Kenyon Energy. Maui Electric is buying power from Kenyon’s South Maui Renewable Resources.  The project can possibly generate up to 2.87 megawatt of solar power that is then delivered to Maui Electric’s grid for roughly 11 cents per kilowatt-hour.

Maui is ahead of the 30% target they set for themselves getting 34% of its energy from renewable resources. Those resources include wind, hydroelectric, biofuels , and solar. Maui Electric will begin purchasing more power from an additional Kenyon project later this month.

Maui Best Property Tax Rates Prevail!

The budget chairman, Riki Hokama, said Friday that he had nixed the mayor’s proposed tiered scheme for property taxes designed to increase income from second homes and investment properties.

His proposed property tax rate structure follows with proposed and current rates per $1,000 of assessed value:• Homeowner, $2.85, $2.86.• Commercialized residential, $4.55, $4.56.• Residential, $5.52, $5.54.• Agricultural, $6, $6.01.• Apartment, $6.31, $6.32.• Conservation, $6.35, $6.37.• Commercial, $7.25, $7.28.• Industrial, $7.45, $7.49.• Short-term rental, $9.28, $9.28.• Hotel and resort, $9.37, $9.37.• Time share, $15.41, $15.43.

Maui continues to have reasonably low real estate tax rates. Contact The Hansen Ohana today for all your real estate needs!

Hydroponic Farm Set To Open This Year

The indoor hydroponic farm is scheduled to open later this year. The Larry Ellison partnership will be able to grow and sell vegetables for cheaper than produce thats imported. Last August Ellison announced the Sensei project on Lanai. Sensei would use automated computer hydroponic farming in large greenhouses.

Also set to reopen later this year is the Four Seasons Resort Lanai, The Lodge at Koele. The property closed in January 2015 in order for extensive renovations to be done totaling approximately $75 million. A new spa and fitness center are among the new amenities the lodge will provide.

Lani is the first Sensei farm for the Los Angeles based company. The first crops will include Black Trifle tomatoes, and Komatsuna mustard greens. We look forward to viewing the completed project!

Great Economic News!

Hawaiian Tourism Authority reported the single largest month ever on record in Maui County for January at $548.5 million. That is a whopping 18 percent increase from the same time last year. Increase in visitors from both Coasts of the Mainland as well as Canada helped contribute to the large visitor expenditures.

Maui County’s tourism isn’t the only thing booming. The real estate market is red-hot too! Median home prices rose 1.8 percent to $685,000. Median condo prices also increased from this time last year to $472,500. Up 1.6 percent from the same time last year.

Also pleasing to know, Maui County’s unemployment rate for the end of 2017 was half of what the rest of the nation saw.