The increasing cost of housing is driving up property tax bills for many local families. Mr. Tanaka, pictured here, is one of many residents who raised the issue with me: why should he, he asked, have his tax bill increased just because a nearby parcel was redeveloped or renovated? I propose that we do the following:
- Cap the increase in property tax assessments to match inflation and federal increases to Social Security – approximately 2% per year.
- Allow the city to track a higher, market-based assessment for real property tax. The difference between this value and the ~2% capped-assessment would accrue as a lien, collectable by the city if the property is sold. (This idea was proposed by Mr. Serikaku of Moanalua.)
- Institute higher tiers of the property tax code to properly assess the new crop of ultra-luxury units in areas such as Kakaako. Units trading at $10 million or $20 million, should not be taxed at the same rate as a $1.2 million 50-year home in Liliha or Nuuanu.