Council approves assessment cap

PUHI — A 3 percent assessment cap for homestead and long-term affordable rental properties was approved unanimously by the five members of the county council present at Wednesday’s meeting.

“As I go around the community people are talking about the high cost of living and taxes going up and I’m pleased we’re passing this today,” said Councilman Gary Hooser.

Councilmembers KipuKai Kuali’i and Arryl Kaneshiro were absent because they are in Washington D.C., representing Kauai at the National Association of Counties legislative conference.

“While this is not a solution to our overall tax structure, it’s a good Band-Aid right now to keep tax bills stable,” said councilman Ross Kagawa. “This is a never-ending problem of ad valorem taxes and skyrocketing property values on Kauai.”

The bill was one of two introduced that dealt with taxes for homestead and long-term affordable rental properties. The bills were introduced almost simultaneously and were meant to provide the council two options.

“This bill is a very creative solution to moderate real property taxes but also allowing for the creating of sufficient revenues to run county government, which is important as well,” said Councilwoman JoAnn Yukimura. “If we stopped services, people would notice. They’re both important goals.”

The new legislation could be implemented this year for the 2017 tax year.

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