Deadline approaching for tax relief programs

County officials are encouraging homeowners to take advantage of the county’s real property tax relief programs.
“We want to remind everyone that there are a number of tax relief programs available to Kaua’i homeowners and urge them to apply for these programs,” said Director of Finance Ken Shimonishi.
The deadline to apply for the majority of the tax relief programs is Sept. 30, 2015.
The Home Exemption program entitles homeowners who own and occupy their property as their principal residence to a $160,000 deduction from their property assessment. At ages 60 to 69, the amount for this exemption goes up to $180,000. For those 70 and older, the exemption is $200,000.
Once a claim for the Home Exemption is filed, no additional action is required on the part of the homeowner unless he has a change in status.
Another tax relief program is the Additional Home Exemption Relating to Owner-Occupants’ Income, which enables a homeowner to take an additional $120,000 deduction from his property assessment. To qualify for this, a homeowner’s gross income for 2014 must have been $59,400 or less. Owner-occupants with gross incomes that are equal to or less than $37,100 may qualify for the Very Low Income Tax Credit program. This program entitles owners to pay three percent of their gross income in lieu of property taxes if the amount is lower than the calculated market taxes after all exemptions have been applied. Annual filings are required for this program.
The Home Preservation Limit program is designed to assist residents who reside in high-value neighborhoods where increased values have significantly outpaced their annual income.  This program is available for owner-occupants that have owned their property for at least 10 years, their property is classified as Homestead, have a net assessed value of $750,000 or more, do not own other real estate, and have a combined gross income of all titleholders of $100,000 or less.
Another tax relief program is for property owners who are using their property as a long-term affordable rental. This program allows participants to have their rentals classified as Homestead, which has the lowest tax rate.
To be eligible for the Long Term Affordable Rental Tax Relief program, the rental property must be rented or leased for a minimum of one year at a rate that meets the requirements of the 2015 Affordable Rental Guidelines for the County of Kaua‘i, which are established by the Housing Agency.
Other tax relief programs include: Totally Disabled Veterans; Kuleana landowners; and Persons who are vision- or hearing-impaired, totally disabled or affected with Hanson’s Disease.
Applications for all tax relief programs can be downloaded from the county’s website, or
Paper applications are also available at the Real Property Assessment office located in the Kapulē Building at the Līhu’e Civic Center.
Property owners are also encouraged to complete a Use Survey to ensure that their property is classified by its use.

For more information or to inquire about additional exemptions, please contact the Real Property Assessment Division at 241-4224.

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