Estate Planning Insights – Hawaii Real Property Tax Exemptions

Estate Planning Insights – Hawaii Real Property Tax Exemptions

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Carroll D. Dortch
Hawai‘i Herald Columnist

Carroll (Cary) D. Dortch received his doctor of jurisprudence degree from the University of New Hampshire School of Law.

Did you know that there are some exemptions that you can employ to save on your property taxes in Hawai‘i? One of the most commonly used exemptions is the real property tax exemption for homeowners. If you own a home in Hawai‘i, your property tax exemption is based on a variety of considerations regarding your intent to reside in the home. Some of these include:

1) You occupy your home for a minimum number of calendar days in a year — on O‘ahu, the minimum number of days is 270; County of Kaua‘i, 18 days; Maui County, 270 days; and on Hawai‘i island, the minimum number of days is 200.

2) You file your income tax return as a Hawai‘i resident with this home address;

3) You are stationed in the city under military orders of the United States; and/or

4) You are registered to vote in the city in which your home is located.

The homeowner exemption reduces the total assessed value of your home. The assessed value is used to calculate your property taxes. Originally, the exemption was only $300. Over the years, however, it was adjusted and now varies among the counties in Hawai‘i.

On O‘ahu, the homeowner exemption is $80,000. It increases to $120,000 for residents over the age of 65.

The homeowner exemption for Kaua‘i County residents under age 60 is $160,000. The exemption increases to $180,000 for residents between the ages of 60 and 70. For Kaua‘i County residents over the age of 70, the exemption is $200,000.

The Maui County exemption is $200,000 for all homeowners, regardless of age. The county no longer offers an increased exemption for its older residents.

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