Board of Review Appeals
INFORMATION FOR TAXPAYERS CONCERNING
PROPERTY ASSESSMENTS APPEALS TO THE BOARD OF REVIEW
Appeals from real property assessments made by the Real Property Assessment Division are provided for in Chapter 5A of the Kauai County Code. However, taxpayers are not generally aware of the responsibilities placed on them when they do file an appeal to the Board of Review.
The Board of Review believes it would be helpful to taxpayers if they were better able to understand their obligations in this regard. Considerable time of taxpayers and board members could be saved if taxpayers were aware of the requirements which must be met in presenting their "case" at appeal hearings.
The county of Kauai is required by Chapter 5A of the Kauai County Code, to assess all real property in its entirety.
A taxpayer who files an appeal is obliged to present "proper evidence" to the Board of Review in support of the appeal at the scheduled hearing. The law clearly provides that the assessment made by the Director of Budget and Fiscal Services is presumed to be correct. This means that every person who appeals must show by "proper evidence" that the assessed value made by the director is incorrect. One way of doing this is for the taxpayer to prove that the property value stated in the appeal is correct. Unless "proper evidence" is presented, the board must decide in favor of the Director's assessment.
Some examples of "proper evidence" are: sales of similar properties or construction cost estimated of the replacement cost of the improvements by an experienced licensed contractor or cost estimator if improvement valuations are appealed. While sales of similar properties are "proper evidence", sales transactions between relatives, close friends, and persons with close business relationships are usually not considered as friends, and persons with close business relationships are usually not considered as "proper evidence." The fact that a nearby property is assessed lower than that of the property under appeals not sufficient evidence of itself for the Board to lower an assessment. The Real Property Assessment Division uses comparable sales up to one year preceding the assessment date of October 1, to set the assessments. Comparable sales of properties should come from that period of time.
The personnel of the Real Property Assessment Division are always willing to answer questions and review assessment problems with property taxpayers. In most instances, these discussion result in a clearer understanding of standards and practices utilized by the Division in providing a relatively high degree of fairness in Hawaii's property assessments.
Tax Appeal Court