Tax assessments need re-evaluation

The Maui County Council needs to look into the property tax assessments for retirees.

In 2014, the council modified the eligibility criteria for the tax credit. A sliding scale was added that allowed for those whose homes were valued up to $450,000 to receive a partial tax credit. Median housing values have gone up dramatically since then.

According to Zillow Research, on Maui, single-family median prices in January 2014 were $526,000. In January 2015 it was $579,000. In January of 2016 it was $599,000. At the end of September 2016 it was $611,000. Living in Lahaina, the Lahaina single-family median price in January 2014 was $562,000. In January 2015 it was $617,000. In January 2016 it was $669,000. At the end of September 2016 it was $684,000.

I sent in my circuit breaker tax credit application for the tax year July 1, 2016-June 30, 2017, which I qualified for. There was only an assessed building value difference from 2015-16 of $46,000, and a taxable value difference of $46,000. How does this equate to a quadrupling of my real property tax bill for 2016-17?

I understand that with my building assessed value over $450,000 that I was eligible for 0 percent of circuit breaker tax credit. What happened between 2015 and 2016? Why did I qualify for a 75 percent circuit breaker tax credit then?

Mayor Alan Arakawa and the Maui County Council, please help retired seniors on limited income and re-evaluate the property tax assessments.

Donnell A. Tate

Lahaina

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