Kauai County Committee approves tax changes
LIHUE, Hawaii (AP) — A Kauai County Council committee has approved a measure to change the county’s property tax system.
The county Finance Committee approved the measure 3-2, and the full seven-member county council will consider the tax revision next week.
“This bill . is about fairness,” finance director Steve Hunt said. “It goes back to the principle of ad valorem taxes and is based on the value of the property.”
A change in the law this year divided taxpayer classes by use rather than zoning. Some taxpayers were surprised to find homestead rates, $3.05 per $1,000 of assessed value, changed to commercial rates at $8 per $1,000 of assessed value.
Hunt said the administrators looked at how owners of property with similar assessments could be paying different rates.
Bill 2495 would eliminate a cap on property taxes that has protected some resident homeowners from climbing real estate values. Elimination of the cap, he said, will be offset by more tax exemptions.
The measure proposes a $160,000 tax exemption for resident homeowners. The exemption would jump to $180,000 for homeowners ages 60 to 69 and $200,000 for homeowners 70 and older.
Transient vacation rentals are taxed $8 per $1,000 of assessed value. Owners would receive the resident homeowners’ exemption if they live in the house for six months or more per year.