INDEX - ECONOMYwww.islandbreath.org ID# 0706-05
SUBJECT: KAUAI TAXES
SOURCE: RAY CHUAN email@example.com
POSTED: 1 APRIL 2007 - 9:00am HST
Tax Assessment Appeal
Sisyphus condemned forever to roll a rock up a mountain
by Ray Chuan on 29 March 2007
Recently taxpayers have received from the County Real Property Tax office the Notice of Property Assessment as of January 1. 2007. The following discussion of the impact of 2007 Property Tax Assessments is to you to help you analyze the potential consequences of the assessment on your properties and to suggest an appeal process you might wish to use to avoid the possible adverse effects of the assessment.
In reviewing the assessment details in these Notices with a limited number of North Shore owners it appears that for the current the assessor has left unchanged the assessment for the building portion, but the land assessments have increased in the general range of 20% to 40%.
For property owners who have homestead exemptions (who own and occupy their property) the tax impact of the increased assessment is muted because of the 2% tax cap contained in the Permanent Home Use ordinance. However, the protection given by this ordinance is illusory as it can be changed at any time and the ordinance has been described by the Council as temporary. If the ordinance is repealed the effect of the increased assessments in recent years will be substantial.
The effect of the increased land assessments for taxpayers with homestead exemption will also be avoided if the Hawaii Supreme Court validates the Ohana Charter amendment adopted in 2004. A ruling is expected from that Court in the near future. It might be prudent to appeal your assessment as a favorable Court decision cannot be assured.
Under the Kauai Code provisions appeals of 2007 assessments must be made on or before Apri 19th, 2007.
It is believed that for most or all of county properties their market value has decreased from January 1, 2006, the date of the last prior assessment to January 1, 2007. If that assumption is correct and your property’s assessment increased by more than 20%, you should have grounds for appeal under Code Section 5A-12.3 (1) for the new valuation. If your property’s assessment increased by less than 20% or less you may have grounds for appeal under Code Section 5A-12.3 (2) as to the methods used.
If you are interested in making an appeal of the assessment on your property please notify me at (808) 826-6814. We will try to consolidate the claims being made to reduce the time and expense for all.