Saturday, June 15, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Saturday, July 15, 2023
Property Tax: Our council members have been listening
By Keli'i Akina PhD @ 10:29 PM :: 1639 Views :: Taxes

Our council members have been listening

by Keli'i Akina, Ph.D. President / CEO, Grassroot Institute of Hawaii

When new property assessments threatened to send Hawaii’s property taxes sky-high, my colleagues and I at the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii were among the first to sound the alarm.

We followed up by supporting proposals that would reduce the impact of the higher assessments, including higher homeowner exemptions, lower tax rates and taxpayer credits.

And our council members have been listening.

In every county — Kauai, Honolulu, Maui and Hawaii — we have seen interest in providing property tax relief — and not just for homeowners, but for other property owners as well.

Multiple bills have already passed, and many council members have asked for more information about how to reform the property tax systems in their counties.

Several have even publicly thanked the Institute for its work on the property tax issue.

In April, Kauai Council Chair Mel Rapozo appeared on KKCR radio’s “Kaua‘i Soapbox” — hosted by Kauai Councilmember Felicia Cowen — to talk about property tax reform, and he began his remarks with a “thank you” to the Grassroot Institute.

“I appreciate the Grassroot Institute,” he said. “They do amazing work and, you know, it’s helped us out quite a bit, so I’m just enjoying the dialogue.”

In June, Honolulu Councilmember Andria Tupola cited (at the 6:42 mark) the Institute’s testimony while talking about the Council’s efforts to pass a one-time real property tax credit, which Mayor Rick Blangiardi had proposed should be $300.

“I wanted to tell them, ‘Thank you,’” Tupola said, “because [Ted Kefalas, Institute director of strategic campaigns] has been pretty active. … We read your testimonies, we appreciate the breakdown of mathematics so that we can make better decisions.”

At the same meeting, Honolulu Council Chair Tommy Waters added (at the 6:43 mark): “I too want to thank Ted Kefalas. … I do recall what he said during the process, that $380 would equal the amount that most people’s property tax went up. We tried to get up to $380. But keeping in mind all the additional funding for public safety, we compromised at $350.”

Then, just last week, following oral testimony by Ted regarding Bill 37, which would increase the income eligibility for a property tax credit, Honolulu City Council Vice Chair Esther Kia'aina said she wanted to “mahalos”Ted and the Institute for “bird-dogging not just this bill but other bills throughout this process.”

These and similar comments I’ve heard from county officials about the work we’ve been doing at the Grassroot Institute have warmed my heart.

It’s easy to be cynical about politicians and tax reform, but in every county, local policymakers have been heeding the calls to reduce the property tax burden for their constituents. I am grateful and humbled that our work has played a part in this.

It’s proof that by working together, we really can help make a difference toward lowering the cost of living, expanding opportunities and making Hawaii a place where we all can thrive and prosper.

E hana kākou! (Let’s work together!)



TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


Aloha Pregnancy Care Center


Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii Military History

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Together


Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

July 4 in Hawaii

Land and Power in Hawaii

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

NRA-ILA Hawaii


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

School Choice in Hawaii

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii