Ask The Mayor

Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most-asked questions submitted to his office staff.

Q: My spouse and I both own and live on our property with each owning 50 percent held in our individual trusts. The property tax bill only lists my name, making it look like I am the only owner even though the online assessment lists both our trust names on separate lines, mine first. We don’t understand why both names are not listed on the tax bill. The other concern is that when filling out the circuit breaker tax credit, only one of us can be the applicant, the other is listed as the spouse. This can be a problem if within the past five years one name got interchanged with the other, which is what happened by mistake in our case. Why can’t we both be listed equally as applicants on the circuit breaker application?

A: Our folks in the Finance Department says both of you are listed on the bill. You might want to take a look at the original bill mailed to you (the blue one), it should list both your names as owners. Just scroll down to the middle part of the bill. Also, in regard to your question about the circuit breaker application, either you or your spouse can be the applicant, but the county needs to consider your total combined income since you are a married couple. Feel free to call the collections section of the Real Property Tax Division at 270-7697 if you have more questions or want something clarified.

Q: This letter is to recommend against more roundabouts on Maui. The Kihei traffic circle/rotary is a failure in that it is only one lane, while 99 percent of all rotaries around the world are at least three lanes, enabling seamless entry and exit from the connecting streets. Look at the Wikipedia entry on roundabouts, you will see that the vast majority are at least three lanes, even in small New England towns. There is never a one-lane traffic circle.

A: I’m going to have to disagree. Our engineers have done a lot of research on a roundabout being safer and more efficient for the area and there is a lot of community support from parents, students and teachers as well. Also, I can’t find your claim that “99 percent of all rotaries around the world are at least three lanes” on Wikipedia, but I do see where it says that “roundabouts are safer than both traffic circles and junctions — experiencing 39 percent fewer vehicle collisions, 76 percent fewer injuries and 90 percent fewer serious injuries and fatalities.”

* Want to Ask the Mayor? Submit your Maui County related questions to Mayor Alan Arakawa by email at, by phone at 270-7855 or by mail at 200 S. High St., ninth floor, Wailuku 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask the Mayor” column; to request a personal response to a concern, email