January 19, 2024

Maui County surcharge and GET is 4.5% as of Jan. 1, 2024

County of Maui officials are reminding the public that the Maui County surcharge and general excise tax (GET) as of Jan. 1, 2024, is now 4.5%, with a maximum pass-on rate of 4.712%.

The County of Maui surcharge of 0.5% on the state GET of 4% is now the same rate as the other counties in the state. Honolulu, Kaua’i and Hawai’i counties had all previously adopted the surcharge.

The county surcharge only applies to transactions where the retail rate of 4% applies; the county surcharge does not apply to wholesale sales or insurance commission where the GET rates are 0.5% and 0.15%, respectively.

GET is levied on the gross receipts of a business, including amounts that are passed on and collected as GET from customers.

To account for this, the maximum rate that may be passed on to customers is higher than the statutory rate of 4.5% (4% GET + 0.5% Maui County surcharge). However, a seller is prohibited by consumer protection law from visibly collecting more than the actual amount owed. Thus, the maximum rate that may be visibly passed on in Maui County is 4.712%.

The Maui County surcharge was introduced by the administration and approved by Maui County Council on July 19, 2023. The law, Ordinance No. 5551, went into effect Jan. 1, 2024, and ends Dec. 31, 2030.

By law, the surcharge raises money for housing infrastructure, defined as water projects, drainage, sewers, waste disposal and waste treatment systems. It also includes walking paths and sidewalks “on a county road near or around a public school.”

Also under the new law, 20% of the new revenue must be used toward projects that help the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands develop homesteads.

For more information, visit the state Department of Taxation page about county surcharges on GET by clicking here or by typing tax.hawaii.gov/geninfo/countysurcharge/.