Maui mayor will approve budget with tax breaks
Some military families will be assessed the minimum on homes
WAILUKU » Maui Mayor Charmaine Tavares said she intends to sign a $549.6 million budget and an accompanying bill that would give a property tax break to homeowners who are U.S. military personnel serving in combat or hazardous areas.
It is the first such exemption in the state, and officials say they do not expect a major loss of revenues because there are no military bases in the county.
The military exemption would require a qualified homeowner to pay the minimum homeowner's property tax of $60.
"The families are having enough of a hardship to have one of their loved ones or maybe more than one in service of their country in an active-duty role," Tavares said. "It seems like not a huge thing to do, but I think it's something we can do to help."
Council Chairman Riki Hokama said he was proud the Council passed the bill, and hoped the federal government would increase military and combat pay to relieve the financial burden placed on military families.
Under the 2007-08 budget passed by the Council on Wednesday, homeowners are also expected on average to receive a reduction in their property taxes.
While property assessments increased by 14 percent in Maui County, the tax rate for homeowners was reduced by 20 percent, according to the county Tax Office.
The County Council reduced property tax rates for homeowners to $2 from $2.50 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. Rates on apartments went to $4.55 from $5, and rates on unimproved residential property went to $5.35 from $5.86.
But the Council raised the tax rate on commercial properties to $6.25 from $6.
The Council also increased the monthly charge for sewer fees for residences to $21 from $18 and the sewer rate to $2.85 from $2.25 per 1,000 gallons for the first 9,000 gallons of water used.