Understanding Real Property Taxes
Each year Kauai property owners make an investment in the County when they pay their real property taxes. Every dollar is returned in the form of vital services including police and fire protection, street maintenance and recreational facilities and activities.
Every year, properties are assessed at 100% of fee simple market value using the cost and market approaches to value. Real property taxes are calculated by multiplying assessed values less any exemptions by the appropriate tax rate. Once a year, on December 1st, assessment notice(s) are mailed to property owners. The notice lists the assessed value, exemptions, net taxable value and general land classification.
Classification for Tax Rate Purpose
Property is classified based upon its highest and best use. Properties receiving homeowner exemptions are the exception. Properties which have been granted a homeowner exemption are classified as homeowners class.
If you don't agree with the assessed value or tax classification on your assessment notice, you may file an appeal with the Real Property Tax Division Board of Review or the Tax Division Board of review or the Tax appeal Court. There is a $25.00 fee to appeal for owner occupants and $75.00 for all other property owners to the Board of Review. The cost for filling an appeal with the Tax Appeal court 5% of the amount of taxes in dispute, but no more than $100 or less than $5.00 for each case. All appeals must be filed by April 9. Even though you have an appeal pending, you must pay all taxes by the due dates or you will be charged penalty and interest.
Tax relief programs
There are a variety of Tax relief programs offered to qualifying property owners. The following are some of the most popular programs:
HOMEOWNERS EXEMPTION AND CLASSIFICATION: If you own and occupy your property as your principal residence on September 30th preceding the tax year, you are eligible for a homeowner exemption and tax rate classification. The amount of the exemption depends upon your age. Homeowners must apply for a homeowner exemption by filing a claim form with this office.
Basic Home Exemption - Homeowners or lessees, defined as Homeowners under Chapter 5.A-11.4 (a) and (3)(b) up until 60 years of age on October 1 preceding the tax year for which the exemption is claimed, will be eligible for a single home exemption of $160,000.
Additional Age Exemption - This exemption was established to help senior citizens living on fixed retirement incomes. Homeowners between the ages of 60 and 70 years of age are eligible for an additional exemption amount, increasing the Basic to $180,000 and increasing the Basic to $200,000 for age over 70.
NOTE: You are required to contact the Real Property Assessment office should you change your status, such as moving, renting and/or using any portion of your residence as a business within 30 days.
ADDITIONAL HOME EXEMPTIONS BASED ON INCOME: Real Property that benefits from a Basic Home Exemption and/or Additional Age Exemption may be eligible to an additional $120,000 Income Exemption based upon an annual gross Income, not to exceed the qualified Gross Income ceiling for that year. YOU MUST APPLY ANNUALLY FOR THIS ADDITIONAL EXEMPTION. If the total amount of exemptions meets or exceeds the net taxable assessment for qualified year, then the minimum tax assessed shall be $50.00 for Year 2014 or $75.00 in those qualified subsequent years.
HOME PRESERVATION LIMIT: A homeowner who meets the criteria in Subsection 5A-11A.2 (c) shall pay as real property taxes the higher of an amount equal to three percent (3%) of all the owners' income(s) or $500.00. The 2014 Home Preservation Limit Application deadline is December 31, 2013 after which the annual deadline will be September 30th of any year.
DISABILITY EXEMPTION: There are a variety disability exemption offered to property owners. To Qualify for any exemptions, a claim form must be filed with the office.
TAX MAP INFORMATION tax maps may be ordered from this office either in person or through the mail. The Maps cost $3.00 each plus $1.00 postage and handling per copy. When ordering maps through the mail, be sure to:
Include your name and complete mailing address in the request. List the zone, section and plat of the maps ordering. Parcel and CPR numbers are not necessary. For each plat map ordered, provide the of prints being requested. Make your check payable to the director of Finance (do not send cash). Mail your check to: COUNTY OF KAUAI, TAX MAPS SECTION, 4444 Rice St. Suite 454, Lihue Hi 96766.
Important Dates July 1st is the deadline for filing dedication petitions. September 30th is the deadline for filing for the additional home exemptions and for filing exemption claims and ownership documents. October 1st Assessed values established for use during the next tax year. December 1st Assessment notice mailed. December 31st Deadline for filing appeals. June 20 Deadline for tax rates established by the county council. July 1 Tax year commences. Taxes are calculated based upon October 1st assessed values and fiscal year tax rates. July 20 First half of fiscal year tax bills mailed. August 20 First Half of Fiscal year tax payments due. January 20 Second half of fiscal year tax bills mailed. Febuary 20 Second half of fiscal year tax bills.