Richards discloses vacation rental income

HILO — Kohala Councilman Tim Richards said he will recuse himself from voting on a bill regulating vacation rentals until the Board of Ethics clears him of a potential conflict of interest.

Richards said Tuesday he’s filed an amended financial disclosure report to reflect the income from the vacation rental, which is on the family’s Kahua Ranch property, zoned agriculture, in Waimea and brought in between $50,000 and $100,000 last year. His original disclosure filed Jan. 31 did not list the rental income.


Richards’ Feb. 12 amended form also lists income from his veterinary practice, from Waika Land and Livestock, Clinic Pasture and for serving as a director for two other ranches.

“My family manages a vacation rental as well. So right now, I’m in the process of receiving an opinion from the Board of Ethics,” Richards said during an April 24 council Planning Committee meeting discussing the bill. “At this point, I’m going to recuse myself from any votes until I get that opinion back, but I would like to participate in the conversation because I think I have a lot to contribute to the conversation.”

The committee heard about five hours of testimony and then recessed the meeting until Tuesday after a short discussion.

Bill 108 is an attempt to prevent unhosted short-term rentals in residential and agricultural zones, while allowing them in hotel and resort zones. Existing rentals in good standing in the disallowed areas would be able to apply for a nonconforming use certificate that must be renewed annually for a $500 fee.

Hawaii is the only county not regulating short-term vacation rentals. The county estimates there are 8,000 such rentals currently operating.

The Board of Ethics is expected to take up Richards’ request for an opinion at its meeting Monday, scheduled for 10 a.m. in Hilo council chambers.

The Board of Ethics previously cleared North Kona Councilwoman Karen Eoff, one of the sponsors of Bill 108, of a conflict after she disclosed ownership in a vacation rental in the Kailua-Kona resort district.

The board instructed her to get clearance from the council chairwoman, which she did. Like Richards, Eoff also submitted an amended financial disclosure after failing to report the rental income the first time around.

Richards’ financial disclosure for 2017 also lists income between $1,000 and $10,000 as a director on the boards of Ponoholo Ranch in Waimea and Palani Ranch in Kailua-Kona. He lists income in the same range from Kahua Ranch. Income from Clinic Pasture and Waika Land and Livestock is reported as between $10,000 and $50,000 each.

His veterinary practice brings in between $50,000 and $100,000, according to his financial disclosure.

The only real property worth more than $5,000 listed on the disclosure form is his Waimea veterinary building, valued between $100,000 and $300,000.


Richards and a sister are currently suing the trust holding the more than 4,000-acre Kahua Ranch in a family dispute over management of the property, valued at more than $120 million, according to court filings posted online by Honolulu Civil Beat in an article about the litigation underway in Oahu Circuit Court.

“Due to my and my family’s long-standing presence in the county, and in the state, I am involved in many things both in business and civically. I believe it is logical to assume that because of this and as a sitting County Councilman, from time to time things will come before us that I have knowledge of, sometimes extensively, because of my life experiences,” Richards said in an email. “Part of this is why I believe I was elected and expected to weigh in and give input on different subject matters that will come before us.”

  1. Pest Outwest May 3, 2018 1:05 am

    Another liar. But don’t worry, it’s not like anything happened to Eoff. Business as usual around here.

  2. Big Mac May 3, 2018 5:11 am

    Even with full disclosure these council members have conflicts. Eof will vote for the measure because her vacation rental is in a condo, so it will increase her business and property value going forward. Richards will vote for it because his vacation rental is on AG zoned property which will be grandfathered in, thus increasing his value and future income. Not saying they are unethical, just saying they all have conflicts.

    1. Pest Outwest May 3, 2018 7:08 am

      Isn’t lying to the public being unethical? Or is that just expected from anyone associated with a Hawaii government on any level?

      1. Hilo Jack May 3, 2018 9:07 am

        Why not lie?

        He’s just doing his Trump imitation.

        Which is as they say “the sincerest form of flattery.

      2. Bigislandfarmer May 3, 2018 9:56 am

        Of course it is. And in most parts of the country they’d be in prison for having lied and hid their income!

        1. konablue May 3, 2018 12:33 pm

          Not in the Peoples’ Republic of Hawaii. We need to drain our swamp and get rid of the scum.

          1. Hilo Jack May 3, 2018 4:13 pm

            Hopefully not like how the orange haired baboon drained the swamp. All he did was fill it with some really slimy scum!

      3. konablue May 3, 2018 12:32 pm

        Just par for the course in Hawaii

  3. KonaRich May 3, 2018 6:39 am

    Richards brings in as much as his vet practice does, but that rental pays better because its most likely cash under the table. Maybe the state could audit, back taxes and penalties. But when your connected that will never happen.

    1. Bigislandfarmer May 3, 2018 9:57 am

      Neither of them have shown even a shred of proof regarding this income, profit, or payment of taxes. Why not? What are they hiding?

    2. konablue May 3, 2018 12:34 pm

      Of course not, here in the Peoples’ Republic of Hawaii all are created equal but some are more equal than others.

  4. Bigislandfarmer May 3, 2018 9:55 am

    Yet another crooked council member. The Ethics Board is appointed by the mayor and approved by him and Eoff so of course they won’t demand recusal. Why aren’t he and Eoff being prosecuted for lying and hiding income on required government forms. I challenge anyone here to simply leave off $50,000 in income from your federal taxes and see if the IRS gives you a free pass once they catch you. They both should be forced to resign over this. That there have been no consequences for their corruption proves how corrupt Kim and our local government are, right down to Mitch Roth.

    1. Hilo Jack May 3, 2018 12:08 pm

      Do you think the same rules should apply to the POTUS?

      1. Bigislandfarmer May 3, 2018 12:48 pm

        Of course. To all politicians.

      2. Buds4All May 3, 2018 3:05 pm

        Your back you corn holer?

        1. Hilo Jack May 3, 2018 3:07 pm

          Never left!

          And I see you just love showing off your republican christian values!

          1. Buds4All May 3, 2018 3:24 pm

            Religion has nothing to do with it, so leave it out. And yes ur still a corn holer!

          2. Hilo Jack May 3, 2018 3:47 pm

            To the contrary!

            Religion has EVERYTHING to do with it!

            It’s what makes and keeps you so pitifully stupid!

  5. Brdy P. May 3, 2018 10:35 am

    This bill appears to institute a change to permitted uses for properties with residential and agricultural zoning. Such things happen from time to time, creating non-conforming uses. Owners of property with those new non-conforming uses are generally grandfathered and allowed to continue on, but they are not allowed to replace or improve the non-conformance. No $500 annual fee is charged to continue the non-conforming use in such cases. Why is this zoning change different? To keep tabs on the units? The TAT and GET license process already exists for that purpose. This seems like another way to sting small time operators. Don’t get me wrong, short term rentals in residential neighborhoods can contribute to a wide range real problems–I’m not speaking to that, just that this new class of “penalty” for continuing a non-conforming use sets a dangerous precedent.

    1. konablue May 3, 2018 12:35 pm

      Ah, yes, but in most cases of non-conforming use there is income and the state and county want their cut.

    2. kit May 3, 2018 1:32 pm

      It sure does. But Hawaii is pretty well known for squeezing ever last penny out of anyone with any ambition. The 500 is theft that will set the president for more theft. It’s why Hawaii is the worst place to work in the USA.

    3. Buds4All May 3, 2018 3:07 pm

      Everything should be grandfathered….the politicians have been stealing for years. Lets tar and feather them!

  6. konablue May 3, 2018 12:36 pm

    Another crook comes to light. Everyone of these scum seem to be on the take or doing deals under the table so why not just forget to report income. What would happen to the average Joe in Hawaii County if they forgot to report income? It;s time to drain our local swamp and kick these scum out of office.

  7. Lorie Farrell May 3, 2018 1:05 pm

    Seriously the comments are hilarious. You hide behind fake profiles and hate on people; saying whatever. Richards files taxes. He requested the ethics board do a review to make sure. So he comes from a family with diversified business interests and they are successful; Your right we should only elect unsuccessful people. One would think you would want to elect people who are in business and understand what it takes to remain solvent and understands that we need to be fiscally responsible. Go ahead and h8, at least I’m real and not hiding.

    1. Hilo Jack May 3, 2018 4:11 pm

      It has nothing to do with success or being unsuccessful.

      It has to deal with telling the TRUTH.

      That is the crux of the issue.

      But I am sure you can always justify telling the truth, once the truth comes to light.

    2. Pest Outwest May 3, 2018 4:40 pm

      He signed a public form disclosing his income (for the good purpose of preventing unseemly conflicts of interest), and omitted the existence of his rental. That’s lying, to the public, to the voters. And he didn’t even apologize.

      1. Lorie Farrell May 3, 2018 4:52 pm

        No, actually if you read it. It is not “His” income. Its family income, so no he didn’t omit it. There is no lie when he openly admitted many times that his family owned a rental unit. The truth is he disclosed it and asked for the board to review it and decide for everyone’s clarity.

        1. Hilo Jack May 3, 2018 5:54 pm

          After the fact

  8. Buds4All May 3, 2018 3:04 pm

    Why is the toothless hoe Eoff not recusing herself?

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