****UPDATE**** At the May 12 ,2015 City Council Budget Meeting Bill 27 was Deferred for Action by the committee. There was opposition by the administration because of unintended consequences. As it is written now, Bill 27 has a much greater reach than what is believed was originally intended by the advisory board and would significantly raise the property taxes on lower valued properties such as small condominiums and any property valued between $100,000 and $300,000. The Bill is still alive and we will have to wait and see if it will be amended.
The City Council voted to pass the first reading of Bill 27 which amends the minimum real property tax. Bill 27 will raise the minimum real property tax from $300 to $1000. The only exemption allowed would be for organizations that have obtained 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt status. The Bill moves on to the Council’s Budget Committee at the May 12, 2015 meeting (Meeting Agenda)
Why do we care?
This legislation stands to have great implications for West loch Fairways. The Association holds the deed to 36 different properties or Tax Map Keys (TMK). Presently the Association’s real property tax for each property is $300/ property or $10,800 annually. If Bill 27 becomes law the Association’s real property tax bill will increase to $36,000. This new obligation will put a real strain on the Association’s operating budget and could force a maintenance dues increase. The Common Areas of West Loch Fairways consist of public access areas, e.g. greenbelts, mini parks, service roads and greenway sidewalks along Fort Weaver and A’awa Drive. These properties are valued at $100 by the City and County of Honolulu and should not be assessed a minimum real property tax of $1000 each as the Association already preforms all the landscape maintenance on these public access areas including maintaining the service roads and guest parking.
What can we do?
Please let City Councilmember Menor and the other Councilmembers know that Bill 27 will cost you money directly. That raising the minimum real property tax by over 300% is excessive and the Council should consider an incremental approach.
We will be updating this post as Bill 27 moves through the process.