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Bill aims to help severely disabled veterans with property taxes

A Maui County Council member is proposing a bill that would amend the Maui County Code to help severely disabled veterans obtain a lower tax bill for their homes.

The bill will allow those with a 70 percent or higher disability rating by the U.S. Veterans Administration to qualify for an annual real property tax bill of only $150, said Council Member Mike Molina, who holds the Makawao-Haiku-Paia residency seat and introduced the bill.

This change will ensure severely disabled veterans and their surviving spouses have additional support as rapidly increasing housing costs have placed a greater financial burden on Maui County taxpayers, said Molina, who noted the current standard to get the lower tax bill requires 100 percent disability.

“As I was looking at budgetary decisions this year to increase exemptions for all homeowners, I reviewed the exemptions for local homeowners and recognized this as an area we could help our veterans,” said Molina, who’s also a veteran.

Molina said if the bill is passed by the council, the exemption paperwork may be changed quickly, and qualified veterans could apply before Dec. 31 for next year’s tax cycle.

The bill is on the Maui County Council’s agenda for its 9 a.m. meeting on Tuesday, where it would normally be referred to a committee.

In addition to receiving testimony by phone or video conference, the council will accept written testimony. For instructions on submitting testimony, please visit mauicounty.us/testify.

The meeting will also be available to view live online and on Akaku channel 53. For more information on Bill 110 and other agenda items, visit MauiCounty.us/agendas.

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