Proposed Maui Real Property Tax Changes Focus of Community Meeting

November 15, 2019, 11:27 AM HST · Updated November 15, 11:27 AM
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PC: Wendy Osher

Maui County Councilmember Tasha Kama hosts a community meeting on the proposed real property tax changes discussed at last week’s council meeting.

The community meeting is set for 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019 at the Kahului Community Center, located at 275 Uhu Street.

Marcy Martin, Senior Real Property Technical Officer with the Maui Department of Finance will provide a brief presentation on the nature of the proposed changes, followed by an opportunity for attendees to ask questions.

The county council recently concluded a temporary investigative group process that recommended the first steps of a multi-step process to reform the real property tax system.

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One of these first steps is to rename the current classifications of real property to better distinguish the basis of assessment. For example, the existing “homeowner” classification would be classified as “owner-occupied” to distinguish it from “non-owner-occupied” or second homes.

The other part of these initial steps is to provide for tiered or stepped tax rates. Under the County’s current property tax system, all property within a single classification is taxed at the same rate ($X.XX per $1,000 assessed value). The proposed change would permit the county council to establish a different rate for up to three tiers of assessed value.

For example, the council could set a lower rate for the properties with the lowest assessed value and higher rates for properties in the other two tiers. The establishment of the tiers would be made during the budget process, along with any decision to set differential tax rates.

Other reforms to the real property tax system may be considered by the council through a later TIG process. Such reforms include providing for real property tax reductions for non-owner-occupied residential units that are dedicated to long-term affordable rentals.

Councilmember Kama, who holds the Kahului residency seat expects that other councilmembers will hold similar information sessions in their respective residency districts but welcomes all interested residents to attend.

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