As many people know, Oprah Winfrey has purchased a substantial amount of property in upcountry Maui, but what might be new information to many is that she is planning vacation rental accommodations on that property.
Ms. Winfrey will have an 11-bedroom vacation rental in Kula at 1373 Thompson Road on the 17 acre O.W. Ranch. As for the permitting process, the Maui County Council gave their final approval on a 10-year extension on her permit to operate the vacation rental.
The Council raised some issues, including Riki Hokama’s concern that those agricultural lands would be taken out of production. He voted against the extension. The other five votes approved it, but weren’t confident about the property taxes. According to Council Member Mike White, the property is being taxed as a bed-and-breakfast at the “commercialized residential” rate of $4.20 per $1,000 of assessed property value.
According to Mike, the $9 rate might be more appropriate because the establishment may be falling into the category of an inn rather than a bed-and-breakfast, particularly because it contains a large commercial kitchen and food service area.
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