Important Property Tax proposal on November 4 Kauai Council Agenda

Important Property Tax proposal on November 4 Kauai Council Agenda

I have introduced the following measure and need your help today in spreading the word to home owners and renters through-out Kauai County.

Proposed Draft Bill (No. 2606) – A BILL FOR AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 5A, ARTICLE 9, KAUA‘I COUNTY CODE 1987, AS AMENDED, BY ADDING A NEW SECTION 5A-9.3, RELATING TO A HOMESTEAD TAX CAP FOR HOME EXEMPTION AND LONG TERM AFFORDABLE RENTAL PROPERTIES

Your testimony counciltestimony@kauai.gov in support is needed and important:

The entire text of the proposed Bill is here: http://kauai.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=&event_id=449&meta_id=95412

In short if passed into law, this measure would limit property tax increases for owner occupied homes (Homestead Exemption) and those properties rented long term at affordable rental rates.  If passed any future tax increase would be limited to no more than the most recent actual cost of living increase as reflected by the Consumer Price Index.

To be clear this proposed property tax CAP only applies to homes in which the owner lives in the house full time and/or those properties who have been certified as long term rentals at affordable rental rates. Hotels, vacation rentals, businesses, and other “market rentals” or vacant “investment properties” would not be capped.

Rationale:

  1. In recent years and for a variety of reasons, property taxes on Kauai for many residents have fluctuated widely with many homeowners incurring very large and unexpected increases.
  2. With increasing property values, increasing costs of county government and the present and recent “deficit spending” nature of County government spending (caused in large part by the rapid expansion of various county services combined with the elimination of the State Transient Accommodation Tax (TAT) income to the County) – the likelihood of future increases in property taxes is great.  Dealing with the spending side of this equation is an entirely different conversation that needs to happen as well.
  3. Homeowners who reside on their property and those that rent at truly affordable rental rates have no way in which it “pass on” the cost of property tax increases.  Large unexpected fluctuations can have severe adverse impacts, especially to those on fixed incomes.  Hotels, businesses and others have the opportunity to “pass on the additional cost to the consumer” while home owners residing in their own home do not.
  4. While homeowners have an obligation to help pay for County services and while the cost of County services continue to increase, the obligation of existing homeowners should be to support only normal cost of living increases and not be forced to support additional increases in the cost and expansion of county government.
  5. It is the nature of property tax “caps” that over time they result in wide disparities between those property owners benefiting from the CAP in its early years and those property owners purchasing property at later dates.  Kauai had a CAP in place which was recently removed in order to eliminate those disparities and “reset” the tax structure in a more equitable fashion.  While I supported the removal of that CAP and the resulting property tax “reset”, it is clear that a new CAP needs to be put into place again to protect homeowners and those properties that are rented at long term affordable rates.

Please submit your testimony today and prior to 8:30am on November 4 at: counciltestimony@kauai.gov

Please indicate clearly in the subject line: Proposed Draft Bill (No. 2606) and your support measure (or opposition if that is the case).  Please in the body of the email explain at least briefly your reasons and/or how the current property tax structure impacts you personally.

Thank you for being involved in the process.  Passage of this measure will require strong community support as the current majority will likely resist its passage and argue instead for a “comprehensive review” of the entire tax structure.  Many on the Council have been saying this for the past two years, yet nothing has been done.  I agree and support a comprehensive review, but in the meantime we need to CAP at a reasonable level increases to those that live in their homes and rent at affordable rates.

Entire Agenda is here (yes it also includes the “barking dog Bill as well): http://www.kauai.gov/Portals/0/Council/Agenda/council/November%204,%202015%20Council%20Meeting.pdf?ver=2015-10-29-095128-057

 

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About garyhooser

This blog represents my thoughts as an individual person. I presently serve now as a volunteer President of the Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action (H.A.P.A.) www.hapahi.org In a past life I was an elected member of the Kauai County Council, a Hawaii State Senator and Majority Leader and the Director of Environmental Quality Control for the State of Hawaii - in an even earlier incarnation I was an entrepreneur and small business owner. Yes, I am one of the luckiest guys on the planet. “Come to the edge.” “We can’t. We’re afraid.” “Come to the edge.” “We can’t. We will fall!” “Come to the edge.” And they came. And he pushed them. And they flew. - Christopher Logue (b.1926)
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3 Responses to Important Property Tax proposal on November 4 Kauai Council Agenda

  1. Pingback: The Hooser Blog: Personal reflections, council updates, re-election campaign – and matters concerning angst, fear and the nature of our humanity | Friends of Gary Hooser

  2. Gregg and Ola Connolly says:

    We were off island and missed the introduction of this Bill.
    Saturday we received our 2016 property assessment and found that it has gone up by 60%. The thought of our property taxes also going up 60% is very disturbing. We are senior citizens and our income comes from Canada. As a result of the fall of the Canadian dollar our income has dropped 30% in the past year. Combining that drop with a 60% rise in property taxes makes it very challenging financially for us.

    Hope this measure or some similar measure is passed.

    • garyhooser says:

      Thank you Gregg and Ola for taking the time to comment here. It is very important that you spread the word to others and submit testimony to the Council members. The administration is pushing hard against this proposal and I think the eventual vote on the Council will be very close. It is scheduled now to come back on the agenda on January 6. Email testimony can be submitted here: counciltestimony@kauai.gov

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