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CALDWELL PROPOSES NEW TAX RELIEF BILL

 

(Wed., Aug. 25, 2010)—Acting Mayor Kirk Caldwell today submitted to the City Council proposed legislation to address concerns raised by certain property owners whose property classifications were recently changed from Residential to Commercial/Industrial, resulting in an increase in their real property taxes. 

 

On December 15, 2009, some 250 affected property owners were notified by the City’s Assessor’s office that, as part of their office’s basic responsibilities, they had reclassified properties situated in industrial and commercially zoned areas, pursuant to established professional and legal standards.  Concerns were raised at that time regarding potential increases in tax bills. In July, the City Council approved Bill 6, which allows property owners to dedicate such properties for residential use, in exchange for lower tax rates.  Under this dedication, owners commit to keeping their property exclusively in residential use for five years. 

 

Bill 6 did not address the current fiscal year taxes, however, and this created a gap group of properties whose owners had no opportunity for tax relief this year, although they may qualify for the next five years.  Caldwell is responding to the concerns of these taxpayers by introducing new legislation to address this issue by providing a tax refund for the current tax year.

 

  • To qualify for the refund if this new legislation is approved by the City Council:

ü     The applicant’s property must be exclusively in residential use;

ü     The applicant must apply for the dedication by September 1, 2010;

ü     The applicant must be willing to dedicate their property exclusively to residential use for 5 years; and

ü     The application for dedication must be approved by the Assessor’s Office.

 

  • Once the application for dedication to residential use is approved, the taxes attributable to applicant’s property will be recalculated at the lower homeowner or non-homeowner tax rate. 

 

  • The difference between the taxes paid on August 20, 2010, at the commercial or industrial rate and the total taxes recalculated based on the homeowner or non-homeowner class will be refunded to the applicant if there was an overpayment.

 

  • Any interest earned by the City on taxes that were overpaid, will be refunded to the applicant whose application is approved. 

 

  • Any penalties and interest levied on a tax delinquency due to failure to pay taxes owing on August 23, 2010, will be returned to the applicant to the extent that the City’s Director of Budget and Fiscal Services has the power to remit or compromise taxes.

 

The City today sent letters to affected property notifying them of this legislation and reminding them that they need to file a dedication application by September 1, 2010, so that they may get the tax benefits of having their property dedicated to residential use.  Applications for dedication also are available on the City’s website at :

 

      https://www.realpropertyhonolulu.com/portal/rpadcms?parent=HOME&code=-1

 

 

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Media contact: Bill Brennan, Mayor’s Office, 768-6928