Proposals call for tax cuts for some homeowners
Council budget committee to hold public hearing this week as it mulls rates
Maui County families who reside in their own home could potentially see property tax cuts under proposals being hammered out in the budget in the coming weeks.
Proposals by both Mayor Michael Victorino and the Maui County Council’s Budget, Finance and Economic Development Committee seek to ease the financial burden among working class residents by lowering most rates in the owner-occupied tiers.
The committee has spent the past month working on its version of the mayor’s $1 billion budget, which Victorino presented in March. While both the mayor’s and committee’s draft proposals call for lower rates for owner-occupied homes, their proposals differ on other tax rates, including those for hotel and resort rates. Victorino is proposing to lower the rate to $10.40 from the current $11.75, while the committee is thinking about keeping it flat.
For short-term rentals, Victorino wants to keep rates flat for all tiers while the committee is seeking to set an across-the-board rate of $11.85, which is higher than the current rate for all tiers.
All rates are per $1,000 of net taxable assessed valuation.
On Monday afternoon, the budget committee worked off of recommendations from Committee Chairwoman Keani Rawlins-Fernandez. It was an exercise to ensure there was enough revenue for the approved appropriations, but also offered insight to what rates members may agree to.
The first public hearing on a range of possible property tax rates for each category will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday. Residents can view the hearing and provide testimony in person at the Council Chamber on the eighth floor of the Kalana O Maui building in Wailuku. The hearing will also be online via BlueJeans at maui.bluejeans.com/295235670.
The committee will meet at 9 a.m. Thursday to finalize its proposals, though rates will not be set until May 13, following a second public hearing by the full council.
Both Victorino and Rawlins-Fernandez have expressed the desire to help Maui County families in regards to lowering and changing rates for owner-occupied properties.
Under Victorino’s proposal, rates would be lowered for two of the three owner-occupied tiers as follows:
• Tier 1, which includes properties valued up to $800,000, would decrease from $2.41 to $2.30.
• Tier 2, which includes properties valued from $800,001 to $1.5 million, would decrease from $2.51 to $2.40.
• Tier 3, which includes properties valued over $1.5 million, would stay at the same rate of $2.71.
Rawlins-Fernandez proposed different rates and different tier thresholds, since valuations are up, she noted during Monday’s meeting. Under the committee’s draft proposal, the owner-occupied tiers would be as follows:
• Tier 1, which would include properties valued up to $1 million, would be set at $2.
• Tier 2, which would include properties valued from over $1 million to $3 million, would be set at $2.10.
• Tier 3, which would include properties valued in excess of $3 million, would be set at $2.71.
The non-owner-occupied category could see some changes as well. Victorino is proposing:
• Tier 1, with properties valued up to $800,000, to increase from $5.45 to $6.
• Tier 2, with properties valued from $800,001 to $1.5 million, to increase from $6.05 to $6.50.
• Tier 3, with properties valued over $1.5 million, to stay flat at $8.
The committee may also seek changes in tiers and thresholds. Under the draft proposal, the tiers would be as follows:
• Tier 1, with properties valued up to $1 million, would be set at $5.85.
• Tier 2, with properties valued from $1,000,001 to $4.5 million, would be set at $8.
• Tier 3, with properties valued over $4.5 million, would be set at $12.50.
For more information on Wednesday’s public hearing and property tax ranges, visit mauicounty.us/agendas/.
* Melissa Tanji can be reached at email@example.com.