With high property taxes and continuously rising maintenance fees added to the dismal state of our economy, I’m wondering how much longer it will make sense to vacation this way. Especially since home/condo rental prices are now on a par with timeshare prices and without the downside.
On Maui us timeshare owners have been paying nearly double and triple in property taxes than what local residents are paying, thanks to a four-year-old tax we got slammed with that seems totally out of line. In recent years some of Maui’s government people have made it clear that they think of timeshare owners as second class citizens, and lot of us think they’re either purposely trying to price us out or balance their budget on our backs instead of Maui’s permanent residents. Or both.
Did you know Maui County is the only local government in the nation to develop a tax rate category solely for timeshares (in 2005)? Plus, at $14 per $1,000 in assessed valuation it has the highest tax rate on timeshares in the U.S. Prior to that new law, timeshare projects were taxed the same as hotel/resort properties, $8.30 per $1,000 of valuation.
Add that to the maintenance fees, which have gone through the roof in most resorts and keep on rising, there just is little incentive to keep it. MF’s at some resorts on Maui are approaching or over $1,000 per week per year, and I just don’t believe that’s reasonable. Of course there’s few options available in unloading our timeshare; we could list it for $1 on eBay just to get out from under the cost, or just walk away from it and ruin my already tenuous credit. Neither option is very attractive.
At the same time, as I mentioned, rentals have become more and more attractive, especially since you can rent very nice places without any of the financial burden that is increasing burdening timeshare owners.
I wonder if timeshare developers have given any thought to the notion that they might be cutting off their noses to spite their faces with those maintenance fees? Or maybe they just want all us old Weeks owners to get the heck out so they can charge more to new (ignorant) buyers for their fancy Points systems?
I don’t know. I don’t have an answer for any of it. But I’m increasingly frustrated with my own resort/company, and on the verge of making a decision about it. I don’t think I’m alone in that.
Timesharing has been great for my family for the last decade (we own in Myrtle Beach, too), and it’s kind of sad to see what’s become of it, especially since RCI was bought out and revamped and not to the benefit of its members, but that’s another topic for another day.
Thanks for the opportunity to vent.
A frustrated owner who loves Maui