Council approves tax rates

LIHU‘E — The county plans to allow a 90-day grace period on upcoming property tax payments in addition to temporarily waiving transaction fees payments.

By deferring the property tax payments for about three months, the deadline to pay will go from Aug. 20 to Nov. 18. After that, taxpayers will face late fees.

“From what I can tell, we can handle this from a cash flow perspective,” Finance Director Reiko Matsuyama said during Wednesday’s Kaua‘i County Council meeting.

Currently, online credit card convenience and transaction fees are waived until further notice. An extension on that, she hopes, will possibly be an incentive to pay earlier. For most people, real property taxes are established into mortgages and are taken care of through their bank.

The council approved Fiscal Year 2020-21 tax rates, which will remain flat for most residents. The county anticipates about $155,780,336 in real property tax revenue to go into the General Fund.

The only upcoming change is for high-value, residential investment properties. Taxes will go from $8.05 and to $9.40 in the upcoming fiscal year per $1,000 of assessed value. This will add about $2.3 million in revenue to be used in the housing revolving fund for houseless and affordable-housing initiatives.

The tax year beings on July 1 through June 30 of the following year. The first half tax payments are due Aug. 20, and the second half in February. Residents have until Sept. 30 to file exemption claims.

The county’s Real Property Assessment Office is still closed, but its website has an outline of COVID-19 tax relief programs, including extended tax return submittals for those with basic home exceptions to July 31. More information can be found at qpublic.net/hi/kauai/index.html.

When the council received the fiscal year 2021 supplemental budget in early May, it included about $10.7 million in cuts from the initial budget proposal in March. After one additional cut by the council, this left the county with a proposed $250,745,757 operating budget and CIP budget of $33,642,237.

Councilmembers were asked to hold off on commenting until the second and final reading of the supplemental budget at its meeting on June 3.

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Sabrina Bodon, public safety and government reporter, can be reached at 245-0441 or sbodon@thegardenisland.com.

6 Comments
  1. Palani May 28, 2020 6:22 am Reply

    Wonderful. A 17% increase in taxes on “High-value investment” properties. i.e. properties that the owners are already forced to rent out in order to pay the already high taxes. An increase of 17% will force many to sell. causing even more churn and “Investment.”


    1. Doug May 28, 2020 11:27 am Reply

      Rent out to who, tourists? What the council needs to do is make the tax rate more attractive for those that own investment properties but rent long term to locals.


  2. behappy May 28, 2020 11:34 am Reply

    Another way to continue the tax discrimination that other areas do not allow! A 17% increase is not fair to anyone.


  3. I saw a Vampire once May 29, 2020 11:58 am Reply

    17%? No county councilmen can afford to pay this. What meeting? They’re not making it happen. Capitalism.


  4. Makemakika May 29, 2020 1:46 pm Reply

    Increase a small number by a small number and you can have a large percentage increase while still having a small number. The tax is still under 1% of assessed value (which is very likely lower than the market value). And this only on the income-generating properties.

    Aue for those wealthy among us! How can they survive it?!


  5. she said May 30, 2020 8:24 pm Reply

    Shouldn’t there be more “warning” to the public in general, least of all, property owners, to allow for community InPut, of More than One Week prior to June 3 meeting? Otherwise, it feels like a bulldozing! To respond to certain concerns…Some folks might have a “high value” property that perhaps they bought many years ago and for now, do rent out to tourists…but that may well be their only retirement plan with hopes of settling down near their loved ones in their later years. You never know, so cannot judge!


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