STATEMENT BY GOVERNOR LINGLE REGARDING THE SUPREME COURT'S DECISION TO REJECT A FEDERAL CONSTITUTIONAL CHALLENGE TO COUNTY PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTIONS AND CONSTITUTIONALITY OF HAWAIIAN HOMES COMMISSIONS ACT
News Release from www.Lingle2012.com
HONOLULU -Former Governor Linda Lingle applauded the United States Supreme Court's decision Friday to reject a federal constitutional challenge to county property tax exemptions provided to lessees of Hawaiian Homelands and to the constitutionality of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act itself. The Maui tax exemption was one of those challenged and was adopted while Governor Lingle was Maui's Mayor. The lawsuit was vigorously and successfully defended by Governor Lingle's administration, resulting in the rejection of the lawsuit in State Tax court and the Hawaii Supreme Court.
Governor Lingle stated:
"I congratulate the state Attorney General's office on bringing to a successful conclusion this meritless lawsuit attacking benefits provided to native Hawaiians. I continue to believe in the constitutionality of the programs providing these benefits, which my Administration successfully defended for eight years. Even with this success, I fear these lawsuits will continue. If elected to the United States Senate, I will work alongside Senator Inouye to try to pass the Akaka Bill, which would provide recognition to a Native Hawaiian Governing Entity, and, hopefully, end these lawsuits forever."
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OHA NEWS RELEASE: The Office of Hawaiian Affairs issued the following statement after the U.S. Supreme Court declined Friday to hear an appeal in Corboy v. Louie.
The plaintiffs had sued the state and two county governments – Maui and the Big Island – to eliminate property tax exemptions currently available only to those living on Hawaiian Home Lands.
The Hawaii Supreme Court ruled the plaintiffs lacked legal standing to bring the case in 2011 and that decision was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
“This is a great day for Native Hawaiians. We are extremely pleased with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision. We congratulate the state Attorney General and his staff attorneys on their legal victory, which not only protected laws granting tax exemptions to those living on Hawaiian Home Lands, but also helped protect other programs designed to better conditions for Native Hawaiians,” said Colette Machado, chairwoman of the Board of Trustees for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.
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Supreme Court Declines To Review Challenge To Native Hawaiian Property Tax Exemptions
by Robert Thomas, InverseCondemnation.com
The Court has denied certiorari in Corboy v. Louie, No. 11-336, the case asking the Court to review the Hawaii Supreme Court's dismissal of a challenge to the property tax exemptions conferred on lessees of Hawaiian Homesteads. The petitioners claim this is an unconstitutional race-based classification, but the Hawaii Supreme Court dismissed for lack of standing (the petitioners had not applied for Hawaiian Homestead leases because they are ineligible to receive them).
Here's the order, in the event you want to see it for yourself.
This case had been kicking around on the docket since December 2011, and it was only on the Term's last day that the Court finally said no.
News Release from Office of Hawaii Attorney General
The United States Supreme Court today denied the petition for a writ of certiorari, i.e., further appellate review, in a case filed by H. William Burgess in Corboy v. Louie, relating to the constitutionality of real property tax exemptions for Hawaiian Homelands homesteads. The case was earlier dismissed by the Hawaii Supreme Court.
The plaintiffs in the Corboy case challenged the constitutionality of the real property tax exemptions for Hawaiian Homelands homesteads, conferred by the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act and the real property tax ordinances of each of the four counties. Plaintiffs alleged that the exemptions discriminated on the basis of race, and resulted in their having to pay higher taxes. The Hawaii Supreme Court earlier ruled against the Corboy plaintiffs on grounds that they had no legal standing to bring the case because they were not, and did not, want to be homesteaders, and thus were not injured by the laws they challenged.
The State and counties argued to the United States Supreme Court that under both state law and federal law, the Hawaii Supreme Court was correct in denying plaintiffs’ claims.
Attorney General (David) Louie offered the following statement: “We are pleased that the United States Supreme Court today declined to hear the case. Despite the plaintiffs’ assertions, the tax exemptions do not differentiate between taxpayers on the basis of race, but rather on whether the taxpayer is a Hawaiian Homelands homesteader.”
Related: Supreme Court ruling shields Hawaiian Homelands and ceded lands revenue
U.S. Supreme Court decides not to hear Hawaii case
KITV: A decision by the nation’s highest court removes a cloud over the Department of Hawaiian Home lands policies, on the day DHHL broke ground for a new subdivision.
Gov. Neil Abercrombie made a point of underscoring that at a groundbreaking for Kakaina, a 44-unit neighborhood in Waimanalo.
"What is good for native Hawaiians and Hawaiian Home Lands is good for all of Hawaii. Our tax policies with Hawaiian Home Lands are sound, somber and serious," Abercrombie said.
read … SCOTUS