Web site gives property value information
I am one of some 7,000 homeowners on Oahu contesting our real property tax assessment. I was told I need to provide documentation, either at my hearing or via mail if I'm not attending, as to the property values of comparable homes in our neighborhood. How do I go about finding out the sale prices of homes on lakefront Kailua? Is there a Web site available through Realtors or the city?
Answer: We thank Floyd Murashige, marketing and communications director for the Honolulu Board of Realtors, with pointing us to the source of information: the city itself.
The city provides a "no-cost way for homeowners to check online for assessed values in different neighborhoods," he said.
The Honolulu Board of Realtors posts shortcuts to getting the information on its Web site, www.hicentral.com, under the section "City and County of Honolulu."
Murashige said to look for "Oahu Property Tax Data" (www.honolulupropertytax.com) or "Oahu GIS Parcel Maps" (gis.hicentral.com).
On the first site, click on "Property Search" at the top of the page, then type in street addresses. If you click on "Parcel ID," you can enter Tax Map Key numbers for different parcels, Murashige said.
"The results will show the past property tax amounts, assessed values, etc., which will help the homeowner judge the assessed value of their home compared to other homes in the neighborhood," Murashige said. "The homeowner probably has a good idea of what neighboring homes are similar to their own homes."
On the GIS site, click on "Parcel and Zoning Information" and you can use the interactive map of Oahu to zero in on your property and nearby properties, he said.
AARP, the Hawaii Asset Building Coalition and the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance group are seeking volunteers to provide free federal and Hawaii income tax preparation help for the elderly, disabled and non-English-speaking, as well as people with lower incomes.
Training classes for volunteers will be held in December and January. The free tax preparation sites will be situated around the state between January and April.
More than 400 volunteers helped taxpayers last year by preparing more than 10,000 federal and state individual tax returns in Hawaii, according to the Internal Revenue Service.
Bilingual volunteers are particularly needed. Organizations, including civic or fraternal societies, educational institutions, religious organizations and social groups, can also participate or host a site.
To volunteer, contact AARP Tax-Aide at 955-5776, noting you are calling for AARP Tax-Aide volunteer information; Hawaii Asset Building Coalition at 539-1503, leaving your name, telephone number and stating "VITA volunteer"; or Aloha United Way-Family Self-Sufficiency Program at 543-2201 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, stating you are interested in VITA volunteer information.
Got a question or complaint?
Call 529-4773, fax 529-4750, or write to Kokua Line, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered. E-mail to email@example.com
. See also: Useful phone numbers