The City and County of Honolulu has been sending out the new tax assessments for about a week now. Oahu property owners, did you get your assessment yet?
If you haven't, a quick way to check is to visit the Honolulu Property Tax site here. Next, click the "Property Search" tab and then input your street address and street name. A list will appear - if you own a single family detached home, your property may be the only one that appears on the list. If you own an attached home, townhome or condo there might be several or more properties on the list. Navigate through the list and when you find your property, click on the link.
That will bring up the information page for your property. With the navigation bar on the left, click "assessed values" and then your 2011 assessment should appear.
Now, do you have a copy of your 2010 assessment? It helps to compare 2011 with 2010 to see if your assessed value went up or down.
In my case, my property's assessed value went up quite a bit - 12%! That's far above the average, I won't appeal though because the current assessed value is pretty close to the home's market value. And with Oahu's low property tax rates (about 1/3 of 1% for owner occupants) if I were to appeal, we'd only be talking about perhaps $100 in tax savings per year. I'm better off working a few hours instead of spending a few hours trying to appeal the tax assessment. This might not be true for every homeowner though, especially, for example people who bought their homes via short sale and see the tax assessment way higher than their purchase price.
Real Property Tax Assessment Appeals
Here's some info from the City and County's website regarding filing an appeal.
Neither the amount of your property tax bill nor the increase in your property tax bill is a valid basis for an appeal. If you have questions concerning the amount of your tax bill, late payments, your billing address, or tax credits, contact the Treasury Division at email@example.com or at: Real Property Tax Collection Treasury Division P.O. Box 4200 Honolulu, HI 96812-4200
Grounds for Appeal
When you file an appeal, you must state the basis for your appeal. For real property tax cases, the ROH Section 8-12.3 specifies four grounds for appeal. 1. Assessment of the property exceeds by more than 10 percent of the market value of the property, or 2. Lack of uniformity or inequality, brought about by illegality of the methods used or error in the application of the methods to the property involved, or 3. Denial of an exemption to which the taxpayer is entitled and for which such person has qualified, or 4. Illegality, on any ground arising under the Constitution or laws of the United States or the laws of the state or the ordinances of the city in addition to the ground of illegality of the methods used mentioned in clause 2.
Costs of Appeal
Board of Review - $25 Small Claims section of the State Tax Appeal Court - $25 non-refundable deposit Tax Appeal Court - $100 non-refundable deposit
To download the Oahu Real Property Tax Appeal form in PDF - click here.
The deadline for filing your real property tax appeal is January 18, 2011. That's about three weeks from now, if you intend to appeal don't delay!