Property tax official was
known for his dedication

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HILO >> Hawaii County's longtime tax administrator Gary Kiyota has died. He was 54.

He died April 9 after suffering a heart attack while on a flight to Hawaii. He was returning home from a tax conference in Florida.

Kiyota worked for the state when it handled the assessing of property taxes for all counties. When those duties were turned over to the individual counties after the 1978 Constitutional Convention, Kiyota became chief of the Hawaii County Real Property Tax Office.

"He was very dedicated," County Council Chairman Jimmy Arakaki said. "He knew more about the tax department than anyone I knew."

Family members described Kiyota as a low-key person who had a passion for golf.

"He always liked the solace of his private life," Walter Kiyota said about his brother.

Kiyota, the stepson of state Rep. Helene Hale (D, Pahoa-Kalapana), also served as a police officer and spent time as a salesman before joining the tax department.

Services will be at 5 p.m. Friday at Dodo Mortuary in Hilo. Friends may call after 3 p.m.

Kiyota is survived by son Brent; brothers Ronald, Walter and Nelson; stepmother Helen Hale; and a grandson.


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