Maui getting word out
on tax break

Fewer homeowners are applying
for the credit from the county

WAILUKU >> Maui County officials are scheduling 15 community meetings to inform homeowners about a "circuit-breaker" credit that may substantially reduce property taxes.

The meetings were called after county tax officials found fewer people applying for the credit.

The tax credit, authorized in 1997, was intended to prevent low-income homeowners from being taxed out of their homes as a result of rising property values.

It allows qualified homeowners to pay no more than three percent of their adjusted gross income on the property occupied by them.

The circuit-breaker tax credit, which must be renewed each year, applies to the following year's property taxes.

More than 2,000 homeowners qualified for the credit in the first year, while about 630 qualified last year, according to the county tax office.

Acting Finance Director Wayne Fujita said he doesn't know why there has been a drop in applications.

He said perhaps the homeowners may have experienced an increase in income, may not be aware of the "circuit breaker" option, or haven't renewed their circuit-breaker credit.

Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa said based on a study, his administration found the elderly often weren't using the circuit-breaker option.

Arakawa said the meetings are scheduled at nutrition program sites for senior citizens throughout the county from August through mid-September.

The deadline for applying for a circuit-breaker credit is Sept. 30 but may be extended to Dec. 30, under a proposal before the Maui County Council.

For further information, contact real property appraisal supervisor Scott Teruya, 270-7297.

County of Maui



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