My County Council has discussed the possibility of reducing the existing property tax home owner's exemption to $200,000, down from $300,000. Obviously, this is meant to increase county revenue.
Even at the $200,000 level, this exemptio is the by far the highest in the State of Hawaii. It is only $80,000 in Oahu and Ka'uai. Thus, our county officials think that it is fair, particularly since real estate values have dropped significantly in the past few years.
At the same time, the Council is discussing the criteria to qualify for such exemption, in an effort to make them more stringent. Currently, one needs to prove that he/she resides in Maui more than 6 months per year and there is no stipulation regarding the use of the property during the remaining part of the year. There seems to be a general belief that a lot of second home owners are using this exemption in order to reduce their costs and meet their bottom lines, while renting out their condos.
For any information regarding Maui real estate, please contact Mihaela Stoops at www.forsaleinlahaina.com