Friday, April 30, 1999

Maui County
waiting for
$2 million
in taxes

By Gary T. Kubota
Maui correspondent


WAILUKU -- About $2 million in delinquent property taxes are owed to Maui County, at a time when some county lawmakers are considering raising taxes to meet an anticipated deficit.

The $2 million represents about 2.5 percent of the $75 million collected in Maui County property taxes annually.

The majority of the taxes are owed by a few businesses, including Keola Hana Maui, which owed $406,896 in delinquent property taxes as of March, according to Deputy Corporation Counsel Traci F. Villarosa.

Villarosa said the county is negotiating a repayment plan with Keola, the owner of the Hotel Hana-Maui. Others include $483,472 owed by Palauea Bay Partners and $352,527 by HFJ Mauka Inc., she said.

The county filed to foreclose on the 720 acres owned by Palauea in January, and is also a party in a foreclosure proceeding against HFJ Mauka Inc.

HFJ, owner of the 340-acre Grand Waikapu Golf Course and Sandalwood Golf Course, has owed property taxes since 1998, the county said.

Villarosa said Keola and Palauea have owed taxes as far back as 1997.

County Managing Director Grant Chun said the administration tries to work out a payment schedule with those owing back taxes rather than resort to litigation.

But Chun said it is actively seeking payments in light of the county's tight fiscal situation.

"We're just going to be as aggressive as possible in working through these situations," Chun said.

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