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StarBulletin.com

City backed up on appeal cases for real estate


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POSTED: Thursday, February 12, 2009

Question: In January 2006 I filed a property tax appeal of the then-current valuation of our property; then, in January 2007, I filed a second appeal, of the then-current valuation. I have never heard anything about these appeals. Are appeals actually being considered, or is this program just so much shibai? Is one supposed to receive a report or a notice when your appeal has been heard, or allowed to be present when it is considered? If the appeal is approved, is interest paid on the excess property tax previously paid?

Answer: There is a backlog of appeal cases, which the city Real Property Assessment Division will be working on “;over the next several months,”; said city administration spokesman Bill Brennan.

“;The number of appeals filed have declined substantially, and this will help the division address the backlog of appeal cases,”; he said.

Brennan said you will be notified by certified mail when your case is scheduled, with the date, time and location of the hearing.

However, we were unable to get any answer as to how big a backlog there is or what happens if your appeal is approved.

You've indicated you've been contacted by someone in the assessment division, so perhaps you'll be able to get a direct answer.

For 2008, 2,873 appeals were filed, while there were 3,045 appeals filed for 2009.

That compares with about 7,000 for 2007, 6,000 for 2006 and 5,500 for 2005.

Q: Aren't the 1099 tax forms supposed to be sent by the end of January? First Hawaiian Bank Investment Services said it would send out the 1099 Forms by Feb. 14.

A: The Internal Revenue Code was amended last October, changing the deadline for sending out certain statements to Feb. 15 from Jan. 31.

Among those forms are 1099-B (Proceeds from Broker and Barter Exchange Transactions).

Because Feb. 15 is a Sunday and Feb. 16 is the Presidents Day holiday, the deadline this year is Feb. 17. That's the date the forms have to be mailed, not received.

The deadline also applies to other tax information brokers must provide customers, such as interest and dividend statements.

You can find the Internal Revenue Service's notice about the deadline change at http://www.irs. gov/irb/2009-05_IRB/ar14.html.

Q: What can we do with gift certificates for restaurants that have closed, such as Nick's Fishmarket? We have called the restaurant but no one answers.

A: If you have an outstanding gift certificate and are unable to contact the restaurant or business in question, call the state Office of Consumer Protection.

Call 587-3222 or file a complaint online at hawaii.gov/dcca/areas/ocp.

The office will evaluate each situation and investigate “;if appropriate,”; said Stephen Levins, executive director of the Office of Consumer Protection.

As of yesterday it had received only two or three inquiries about Nick's Fishmarket gift certificates, he said.

 

Write to “;Kokua Line”; at Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).