Monday, November 30, 2015         

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Council likely to clear tax bill to help 250 property owners

By B.J. Reyes


The City Council is poised today to pass a measure providing help to a group of property owners whose tax bills soared when their dwellings were reclassified to commercial/industrial use from residential use.

"I don't see any complications," Council Chairman Todd Apo said.

The tax compromise, Resolution 10-260, was approved last week in the Budget Committee.

Property owners in the group would pay the residential rate, and those who already paid the higher taxes or a portion under an installment plan would get back overpayments through refunds or tax credits.

Final legislation adopted by the Council would go to acting Mayor Kirk Caldwell to approve, veto or let become law without his signature. Mayor-elect Peter Carlisle cannot take office until Oct. 8, after a 20-day period to certify Saturday's special-election results.

Caldwell declined comment on whether he would approve the proposal, saying he wanted to wait to see the legislation in its final form, but said he supports providing some form of tax help to affected property owners.

"We need to get the refund back to these people as quickly as possible," he said. "So I will look at the bill that accomplishes that."

About 250 property owners in parts of Kalihi, Waipahu, Kapahulu and Moiliili were affected when real property assessors classified the properties under the law according to "highest and best use."

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