Let's talk about the property-tax exemption granted to Hawaii
homeowners. There are too many people who don't understand this
exemption, or don't even know it exists! It's there for the asking,
although there are some strict guidelines that must be followed.
- The State and
Hawaii's Counties offer attractive Homeowner's Property Tax Exemptions,
and in these troubled financial times, one needs to stay on top
of the ever-changing rules, most of which are designed to put
more of your money in the Government's coffers. As of this moment,
here are the basics:
- You are entitled
to the attractive Homeowner's Property Tax Exemption if:
- 1. You own and
occupy the property as your principal home (real property owned
and occupied as the owner's principal home) means occupancy of
a home in the county with the intent to reside in the county.
Intent to reside in the county may be evidenced in a number of
ways, like (but not limited to) filing of an income tax return
as a resident of the State of Hawaii, with a reported address
in the county.
2. Your ownership is recorded at the Bureau of Conveyances, State
Department of Land and Natural Resources, in Honolulu on or before
December 31 preceding the tax years for which you claim the exemption.
3. You file a claim for home exemption (Form P-3) with the Real
Property Assessment Division on or before December 31 preceding
the tax years for which you claim the exemption.
4. Multiple Home Exemptions for Senior Citizens: The multiple
home exemption was established to lighten the tax burden for
senior citizens who have relatively fixed retirement incomes.
Senior citizens who are 60 years or older are eligible to apply
- The multiple
home exemption is determined as follows:
- For those ages
60 to 69, the multiple home exemption is 2 times the basic home
exemption. (2 x $48,000 = $96,000). For those ages 70 and older,
the multiple home exemption is 2.5 times the basic exemption.
(2.5 x $48,000 = $120,000).
- One of the most
confusing aspects of this exemption is that you must meet the
qualifications and file for the exemption by December 31 or June
30 of the year for which you are applying. If you miss the deadline
by even a day, your exemption will not take effect until the
following tax period.
- There are more
exemptions available, as for disabled persons and others. There
are also more rules that might apply to your specific situation,
especially regarding qualifications for initial approval and
continued automatic exemptions. To get the complete details,
please visit the County's Web site: www.honolulupropertytax.com.
- As changes occur,
I'll post them here, so stay tuned!
- Frogs, as in
coqui: The County will continue to spray heavy infestations on
private lots at the request of the owners until April or until
the materials are depleted, whichever comes first. We just had
them do the 300-foot frontage of foliage at our Hilo home, and
what a blessing it is to have total frog-silence . . . for a
while. Now it's up to us to pick off any new ones that appear
in time, and they will.
- Citric acid
spray continues to be the best treatment, but it also continues
to go up in price. I suppose the very best "treatment"
is to do as some of our friends have done, and that is to just
get used to them. Lots of people don't even hear them anymore;
they have just become part of the night. Like crickets. On steroids.
- Rent First!
I've suggested this before, but I'll go there again. If you are
planning on moving to Hawaii and you're not totally sure about
the area you've selected, rent there for a while first. That
will give you the opportunity to actually live here, feel and
experience the area, and also travel around and check out all
the places you didn't have time to visit before. You might be
surprised at what you discover, and it sure would be a drag to
find "the right spot" after you've already bought a
- We have recently
talked to several families who have done the rent-first thing
and they are all extremely happy that they did. None ended up
where they first thought they would like to live.
- The Fourth Edition
of Affordable Paradise is now shipping. Updated
to all the current Island data and still only $12.95! Or get
it at a discount on Amazon! Please make sure that wherever you
order the book, they are shipping the Fourth Edition.
- If you do buy
from Amazon, the books shipped directly from them will be the
Fourth Edition. No guarantees if you buy the book from one of
the other vendors who sells right from that same Web page, usually
at a discount even lower than Amazon's. It isn't worth the discount
if you end up with a Third-Edition book at this time.
- The Third Edition
is sold out, but there are still some around at many of the venues
that sell used books, online and otherwise.
- The weather
is cooling off these days and we're hoping that this winter won't
be as chilly as the last one! 55 degrees might not sound cold
to you folks in North Dakota, but when you're used to 70-85,
it is downright freezing! Few homes homes here have insulation
or any heating facilities. Our lovely, tropical jalousie windows
let those cold winds blow right through, too!
- Much Aloha!
- You are also
welcome to check in to the Affordable Paradise
Blog and talk story about your concerns. You can read some of
the many postings there and learn from the conversations of others,
too. You can also go on konaweb.com and punaweb.org and either
participate in the discussions or just eavesdrop for a while!
- We wish you
all the best, and never forget to
- Mahalo for
- Skip Thomsen