Real Property Assessment Appeals

General Info  |  Avenues of Appeal  |  Grounds for Appeal  |  Costs of Appeal  |  Where to get Appeal Forms  |  Second Appeal  |  How to support Your Appeal  |  Tax Payment  |  Small Claims Procedure


General Information

The Real Property Assessment Division annually sends a notice of assessment to property owners, showing the assessed value of the property, the general land class of the property, and the amount of exemption, if any. However, prior to filing an appeal, you are encouraged to contact the appraisers at 4444 Rice Street, Suite 454, Lihue, HI 96766 to discuss any questions you may have; in many instances, misunderstandings are cleared up during this discussion.


Avenues of Appeal

If you decide to file an appeal, you have the following options:

  1. Appeal to the Board of Review;
    File 1 original  (Form P-51)
  2. Appeal to the State Tax Appeal Court;
    File 1 original and 3 copies
  3. Appeal to the Small Claims section of the Tax Appeal Court.
    File 1 original and 3 copies


Grounds for Appeal

When you file an appeal, you must state the basis for your appeal. For real property tax cases, the law specifies four grounds for appeal.

  1. The assessed value of the property exceeds by more than fifteen percent (15%) the ratio assessment to market value.
  2. There is lack of uniformity or inequity resulting from the use of illegal assessment methods or an error in the application of the methods
  3. Denial of an exemption to which you are entitled for which all requirements are met.
  4. Illegal or unconstitutional methods used to arrive at the assessment.
    Use Tax Classification: Owner believes the property should be classified as _______________________


Costs of Appeal

Board of Review - $25 for each owner-occupied property appealed; or $75 for each appeal if non-owner-occupied.
Small Claims section of the State Tax Appeal Court - $25 non-refundable deposit
Tax Appeal Court - $100 non-refundable deposit


Where to Get Appeal Forms

Board of Review forms (Form P-51) are available from the city at:
Real Property Assessment
4444 Rice Street, Suite 454
Lihue, Hi 96766

Tax Appeal and Small Claims form are available from the state at:
The Court House in Lihue
Tax Appeal Court
777 Punchbowl Street
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813


Second Appeal

If you filed an appeal last year and the appeal is pending, an appeal on your behalf will automatically be place on the year's assessment, provided the new assessment was not changed from the assessment under appeal. However, if this year's valuation differs from the valuation under appeal, you must file a new appeal if you want to contest this year's assessment.


How to Support Your Appeal

As the appealing taxpayer, you must prove that the assessor's assessment of your property is incorrect. You can best do this by submitting construction cost data or data from sales from comparable properties which support your position.
(NOTE: Property is assessed on its fee simple basis)


Tax Payment

Even though you have an appeal pending, you must pay all taxes by the due dates or you will be charged a penalty. If you win your case, any overpayment will be refunded.

Tax Appeal Court


Small Claims Procedure

Appeals may be made under the small claims procedure of the state Tax Appeal Court if the amount of tax in dispute is less than $1,000. Under this procedure, appeals are initiated by filing an appeal notice (one original and three copies) with the clerk of Tax Appeals Court and paying a non-refundable $25 fee. Unlike appeals to the Tax Appeal Court, you waive your right of appeal to the Supreme Court if you elect to go through the small claims procedure.

An appeal on the Board of Review's decisions may also be filed through the small claims procedure and it must be filed within 30 days of the Board of Review's decisions has been filed. The Small Claims appeals may be filed at the court House in Lihue.