Property tax exemption bill talks stop when lights go out

LIHU‘E — The Kaua‘i County Council spent the entire day deliberating on a bill proposing further property tax exemption for Kaua‘i residents, only to see decision-making cut short by the island-wide power failure about 5:15 p.m.

“Due to a power outage we have no electricity in our building to continue with our business. Therefore we are unable to record, televise the balance of this meeting. We would like to advise the public that we will be recessing this meeting and reconvening tomorrow morning at 8:30 a.m. right here in the council chambers,” Council Chair Jay Furfaro read from a hand-written statement.

Bill 2425, introduced by Councilman Tim Bynum and later amended in committee, proposes to give all Kaua‘i residents $175,000 in property tax exemptions, regardless of age.

Deputy County Attorney Jennifer Winn said earlier in the meeting that for the bill to be incorporated in fiscal year 2013, the measure had to pass full council Wednesday and have the mayor’s signature today. An IT worker from a Mainland software vendor that contracts with the county was supposed to extend his stay on the island to work on the changes, in case the bill passed.

The bill originally proposed a $225,000 exemption, with two increments of $25,000 for seniors. Last week an amendment introduced by Council Vice Chair JoAnn Yukimura reduced the exemption, but also gave it a shot at being approved.

The county will consider the bill this morning.

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