Historic homes in Honolulu County

One of the more unique property tax exemptions in the City & County of Honolulu is the exemption for “Historic Residential Real Property Dedicated for Preservation.” Under the exemption ordinance, owners of historic homes can save thousands of dollars in real property taxes every year if they put up a certain plaque, allow viewing of the home and meet other requirements.

How long does it take to have a home on Kauai?

Today we focus on Kauai real property tax, thanks to an alert reader who has given us a horrifying account of something so commonplace as buying a home there. How long do you think it takes between buying a home on Kauai and having the “home exemption” effective for real property tax there?

Raising taxes means decreasing prices?

I’ve often heard the argument that taxes on Hawaii real property are too low. Because the taxes are low, the argument goes, prices are driven sky high, leading to economic pandemonium. But is that really true? Maybe it’s just a question of semantics.

Cashing in on production credits

In this space, I often have unflattering things to say about tax credits. Every year, legislators propose tax credits for some little-noticed niche in an industry. Sometimes the credit is well thought through, and sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes the desired effect can be accomplished more cheaply and simply, and sometimes the justification for the credit is sketchy at best.

Wayfair – playing catch-up

This week, we continue with our coverage of Wayfair, the U.S. Supreme Court case that held online sellers can be made to collect state sales taxes even if they don’t have a physical presence in that state.

The Wayfair switch in time and online taxes

In late June, the U.S. Supreme Court decided the Wayfair v. South Dakota case. It was a huge turning point in constitutional law involving the ability of states to tax “online sellers” such as Amazon, Newegg and Wayfair.

Who can we beat up with property tax?

The ongoing furor in Honolulu over the extent to which the rail project is adequately funded, or lack thereof, and the possibility of new state-mandated property taxes to fund education, lead us to look at how we can or should make property tax classifications.

If you don’t rock the boat, how do you change its direction?

A little over 20 years ago, on May 6, 1998, then-Maui Mayor Linda Lingle was speaking to a group of business leaders from the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii. Before the meeting, she was told that she could speak on anything she wanted to, but was specifically told not to criticize any specific person in government.