Honolulu Star-Advertiser

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Hawaii NewsKokua Line

Kokua Line: Why can’t I pay my Honolulu property taxes in 4 installments, like last year?

Question: Why is it that the City & County of Honolulu is not offering the four installments option to pay for property tax, as was previously done? It is difficult for senior citizens like me who have a fixed income. We are struggling to make ends meet with paying for utilities and medical bills. Please help in getting back that payment option.

Answer: We have shared your concern with the city, emphasizing that Kokua Line has received similar concerns from numerous other readers and asking whether the four- payment option might be revived. We were told that there are no plans to do so. The first of two payments is due by Aug. 20 and the second by Feb. 20.

You might try contacting your City Council representative and Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi to let them know that you appreciated the four- payment option and need it moving forward; as many readers noted, the pandemic isn’t over. You can find your City Council member and their contact information at honolulu.gov/council. The mayor’s contact form is at honolulu.gov/mayor/contactthemayor.html.

As for why the pandemic-era payment plan was not continued, here’s the emailed response we received from the city:

“Last year was an extraordinary situation and the City temporarily revised the property owner payment policy to support the community.

“The economic climate has improved significantly since last year and the City is not continuing the option of paying property tax in four equal installments. Property owners will have the option of paying in one installment or two.

“We encourage the community to learn about the key dates for property taxes at 808ne.ws/rpt.”

Or you may contact Honolulu County’s Treasury Division with questions:

>> Mail: Real Property Tax Collection, Division Of Treasury, P.O. Box 4200, Honolulu, HI 96812-4200

>> Phone: 768-3980

>> Email: bfstreasmail box@honolulu.gov

Q: Regarding the anti-BLM license plate (808ne.ws/810KL), is there a process to actively retrieve offensive license plates? I mean to get them off the road right now? Presumably, this license plate could be on the road until the car owner has to renew his/her annual registration.

A: Harold Nedd, spokesman for Honolulu County’s Department of Customer Service, said the owner has been told to turn in the plate by Aug. 19 or risk having the vehicle seized. As Tuesday’s column explained, the personalized license plate — a vulgarity apparently aimed at the Black Lives Matter movement — should never have been approved because it started with the letters FCK.

Here is Nedd’s emailed response:

“A follow-up letter to a phone message left Aug. 7, 2021 was sent Wednesday to the registered owner of the personalized special plate … . The letter reinforces that the plate had been recalled by the City and County of Honolulu. The letter makes clear that the recall is based on an implied expletive in the first three letters on the license plate, a combination that has been deemed publicly objectionable. The owner has been instructed to surrender the plate within six business days from the date of the letter, or no later than Aug. 19, 2021. The owner was further instructed to turn in the plate to any satellite city hall in the City and County of Honolulu. The owner was told failure to surrender the recalled personalized special license plate by August 19, 2021, would be a violation of Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) Chapter 249, making the vehicle subject to citation, penalty and possible seizure by the Honolulu Police Department. Furthermore, the owner has been made aware that the vehicle cannot be registered again in the City and County of Honolulu until the recalled license plate is properly surrendered to the Motor Vehicle Registration Branch.”

Write to Kokua Line at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or email kokualine@staradvertiser.com.

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