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Sunday, December 17, 2023
Voluntary tax incentives could encourage landlords to house displaced Lahaina residents
By Grassroot Institute @ 7:34 PM :: 1270 Views :: Maui County, Tax Credits, Taxes

Voluntary tax incentives could encourage landlords to house displaced Lahaina residents

by Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, December 15, 2023

The following testimony was submitted by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii for consideration by the Maui County Council on Dec. 15, 2023.
_____________

Dec. 15, 2023, 9 a.m.

To: Chair Alice Lee
Vice-Chair Yuki Lei Sugimura
Maui County Council

From: Jonathan Helton, Policy Researcher
Grassroot Institute of Hawaii

Comments on Bill 131

Aloha Chair Lee, Vice-Chair Sugimura and other Council members,

Thank you for considering Bill 131, FD1 (2023), which would provide anyone who rents to Lahaina residents displaced by the August 2023 wildfires a 100% exemption from Maui County’s property tax for the second half of fiscal 2024 and — if they continue to rent to displaced residents — all of fiscal 2025.

The bill also contains a clause intended to protect existing renters from being evicted by landlords who would want to receive the tax break from this bill and the proposed state subsidies for those who rent to displaced persons.[1]

The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii believes this voluntary incentive could help house the thousands of families and individuals who lost their homes in Lahaina.

We would welcome further dialogue with the Council on strategies to create temporary housing and to streamline the reconstruction process of Lahaina.

Thank you for the opportunity to testify.

Jonathan Helton
Policy Researcher
Grassroot Institute of Hawaii
_____________

[1] Stewart Yerton, “Hawaii Governor Wants To Entice Maui Property Owners To Rent To Fire Victims,” Honolulu Civil Beat, Nov. 28, 2023.

  *   *   *   *   *

Lahaina tax relief bill would protect property owners

by Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, December 15, 2023

The following testimony was submitted by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii for consideration by the Maui County Council on Dec. 15, 2023.
_____________

Dec. 15, 2023, 9 a.m. 

To: Chair Alice Lee
      Vice-Chair Yuki Lei Sugimura
      Maui County Council

From: Jonathan Helton, Policy Researcher
           Grassroot Institute of Hawaii

Comments on Bill 95

Aloha Chair Lee, Vice-Chair Sugimura and other Council members, 

Thank you for considering Bill 95, CD1, FD1 (2023), which would provide property tax relief to those who were affected by the August 2023 wildfires. 

Overall, the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii welcomes Bill 95, as it would help protect property owners from the possibility of losing their homes or livelihoods to tax foreclosure. 

Specifically, the bill would do four things: 

>> Exempt all destroyed properties in Lahaina from the Maui County property tax for fiscal 2025.

>> Provide a tax break to property owners who rent to displaced residents.

>> Guarantee that everyone who had an exemption on a property that was damaged by the wildfires will be able to keep it for fiscal 2025, subject to certain conditions.

>> Exempt all properties in the yellow and red reentry zones from the tax for fiscal years 2024 and 2025.

The benefits of protecting property owners from tax foreclosure would be worth the cost. 

Thank you for the opportunity to testify. 

Jonathan Helton
Policy Researcher, Grassroot Institute of Hawaii

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