Saturday, January 30, 2010

Maui timeshares: A Taxing Tale

We've discussed timeshare ownership with a number of those reading this blog and thought you would find of interest tidbits from an article appearing in the Jan. 22, 2010 Pacific Business News, that took a close look at Maui's timeshare tax and the money and ire it is raising on that island.

The article written by Janis Magin says, "Maui County became the only local government in the U.S. to create a tax rate category just for time shares in 2005, and at $14 per $1,000 of assessed valuation has the highest tax rate on time shares in the nation, according to the time-share industry's trade group, the American Resort Development Association."

She reported that the Starwood Vacation Ownership sent an email letter to time-share owners that said property taxes for the Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas North went from $1.2 million last year to nearly $6.4 million this year.

On Maui, Magin writes, a residential condo is taxed at $4.85 per $1,000 or $2 per thousand if it is the owner's primary residence. A timeshare unit is taxed at $14 per $1,000 and that bill is split among 51 owners. At the Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas the 2009 assessed valuation for more than 280 units ranged from $555,000 to $2.9 million and taxes on those units range from $7,700 to $41,101.

We've been pondering the purchase of another timeshare week, and it certainly would be something we would keep in mind had Maui been the destination we were considering.


  1. Timeshares need to be looked up as a purchase and not an investment. Regardless of how timeshares are presented, they don´t perform as well as a house or stock investment. If you look around the resale market for timeshares on websites like EBay, Redweek, or TUGBBS will find that you can buy a timeshare for far less money than what the first owner purchased it for.

    1. Emilie you make excellent points here, but I would have to argue that timeshares ARE an investment in future vacations -- not something that will necessarily appreciate in a portfolio. As you point out, you can look around for timeshares on the secondary market for far less than the original owner paid for them BUT you can use that to your advantage! We've purchased three weeks on the secondary market at high end properties and are loving the luxury life at a fraction of the cost!! One very high end property I should note was sold out so the secondary market was the only way to buy a week -- we've never regretted that purchase!


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