Friday, March 1, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Thursday, October 19, 2023
Property Tax Relief for Maui Fire Victims
By Grassroot Institute @ 4:08 AM :: 1688 Views :: Maui County, Tax Credits, Taxes

Expand Lahaina tax relief beyond just homeowners

from Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, October 18, 2023

The following testimony was submitted by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii for consideration by the Maui County Council on Oct. 20, 2023.
_____________

October 20, 2023 9 a.m.
Maui County Council Chamber

To: Maui County Council
      Alice Lee, Chair
      Yuki Lei K. Sugimura, Vice Chair

From: Grassroot Institute of Hawaii
           Joe Kent, Executive Vice President 

RE: Bill 95 (2023) — Relating to the August 2023 Fires Disaster Exemption

Comments Only

Dear Chair and Committee Members:

The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii would like to offer its comments on Bill 95 (2023), which would exempt from the property tax all residential real property in Lahaina and other residential real property that was damaged or destroyed by the fires in Kihei and Upcountry. 

It would also provide tax relief to hotel and short-term rental owners who use their properties to provide shelter to residents displaced by the fires. These exemptions and relief programs would cover the tax years 2024 and 2025. 

Grassroot believes providing property tax relief to residents affected by the wildfires is a good way to help residents recover. 

Without tax relief, residents whose houses were destroyed and who do not have sources of income could lose their homes to county foreclosure. Instead, they should be allowed time to complete their insurance claims and assess whether they can or want to rebuild before being threatened with property tax payments. 

Grassroot welcomes this bill, and would like to suggest an amendment: The bill should also extend to Lahaina’s commercial, industrial, agricultural and other properties in the Lahaina tax map zone. Owners of these properties also risk losing their lands to foreclosure as they wait to rebuild. This concern might be much greater because the tax rates on businesses tend to be higher than on residences. 

Overall, we believe this measure would be beneficial to those affected by the tragic fires. 

Thank you for the opportunity to testify.

Sincerely,

Joe Kent
Executive Vice President
Grassroot Institute of Hawaii

  *   *   *   *   *

Maui can afford to extend tax break to fire victims

from Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, October 18, 2023

The following testimony was submitted by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii for consideration by the Maui County Council on Oct. 20, 2023.
_____________

October 20, 2023 9 a.m.
Maui County Council Chamber

To: Maui County Council
      Alice Lee, Chair
      Yuki Lei K. Sugimura, Vice Chair

From: Grassroot Institute of Hawaii
           Joe Kent, Executive Vice President

RE: Bill 102 (2023) — To Establish an August 2023 Maui Wildfires Exemption from Real Property Taxation

Comments Only

Dear Chair and Committee Members:

The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii would like to offer its comments on Bill 102 (2023), which would exempt from the real property tax all real property damaged or destroyed by the August 2023 wildfires and deemed uninhabitable or unsafe.

This exemption would run from January 1, 2024 through January 1, 2027 and would apply to delinquent taxes and penalties as well as actual property tax bills. The property tax waiver would terminate if the property were to be sold between the bill’s enactment and its expiration.

The Grassroot Institute believes this measure would be a good way to provide relief to property owners affected by the wildfires.

Many of the homeowners and businesses that would be affected by this bill will not have significant earnings for the foreseeable future, so they will be unable to afford their property tax payments. People in this tragic situation should not face the possibility of losing their properties to foreclosure because they could not pay their taxes.

The County would stand to lose several million in revenues, but this would not handicap its ability to perform core functions. For example, Mayor Richard Bissen’s waiver of fiscal 2024 property taxes for improved structures destroyed in Lahaina, Upcountry and Kihei will deprive the County of $19 million — less than 2% of its $1.07 billion budget for the same year.[1]

Further, whatever revenue loss this bill might cause might be offset by federal and state disaster assistance given to the County.

However, regardless of the revenue implications, the County should help people keep their properties as they wait for cleanup and insurance payments to allow rebuilding.

The Grassroot Institute recommends that the Council adopt policies to determine which “damaged” properties qualify for this exemption and what “uninhabitable or unsafe to conduct business in” means. Clarifying these terms could help deter fraud, which might occur as ineligible owners seek to avoid paying property taxes.

While there is a risk of fraud, it can be mitigated. This bill should move forward. It’s one of many concrete actions the county can take to assist struggling residents.

Thank you for the opportunity to testify.

Sincerely,

Joe Kent
Executive Vice President
Grassroot Institute of Hawaii
_____________

[1] Christine Wilson, “Maui mayor details budget cuts to offset revenue shortfall,” Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Oct. 7, 2023; and  Melissa Tanji, “Council gives final approval to $1.07 billion budget,” The Maui News, June 7, 2023.

 

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

AntiPlanner

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

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

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 Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

HIEC.Coop

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Moms for Liberty

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

July 4 in Hawaii

Kakaako Cares

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

ReRoute the Rail

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT