Struggling with deadlines, the Maui County Council on Friday approved property tax rates for the next fiscal year, even as several members expressed the need for a more thorough review of rates and tax policy. land.
Residents of owner-occupied homes will mostly see lower rates than they’re currently paying, but homeowners who don’t live in their homes, such as those who live off-island and have second homes on Maui , will see higher rates for tax in the year 2023, which begins July 1.
Apartment rates have also been reduced, while a new category has been created for landlords with long-term rentals.
Rates for hotels, resorts and timeshares remain the same, though those in the tourism industry say they will pay more with higher ratings. The new rates also include an increase for all short-term rental categories.
The vote was 6-0 in favor, with Council members Mike Molina, Kelly King and Shane Sinenci absent and apologised.
“We’re so dependent on the visitor industry, and in the long run there’s an imbalance with our different categories, because it’s so heavy in that direction (of the visitor industry), although I understand why” , Council member Yuki Lei Sugimura said during the vote.
Maui Hotel and Lodging Association executive director Lisa Paulson said in earlier public testimony that Maui County’s visitor industry provides nearly 55% of the county’s property taxes, the highest of any county.
“But I would just like to say that we have to be careful about what we are doing realistically and sometimes the policy and our actions should be more balanced,” Sugimura said.
She asked that those affected by property rates come forward early next year when the Budget, Finance and Economic Development Committee deliberates on the rates so that members can hear their comments and suggestions.
Speaker Alice Lee voted in favor of the resolution setting the tax rates, but said she was doing so with reservations.
“I thought the process was pretty rigid,” she says.
She added that “Maybe next time we will have to be more focused, because we were all over the map, nine priorities instead of one or two.”
Lee said that in addition to tourism management, the council was “supposed to focus on diversification and we haven’t really done that.
“It’s something that is planned for another time, next time, and hopefully we can achieve that goal in the next session,” said Lee.
Board member Gabe Johnson said one of his positions is “be fair during taxes.”
“And tax fairness doesn’t mean everyone is treated the same,” says Johnson. “Tax fairness is that everyone’s needs are met. And if you have a big house or a high value hotel, that means you can pay more. Because some people’s needs are not being met.
He asked if the needs of the homeless or the need for affordable housing were being met.
“I can see that the beaches are full of tourists and their needs are being met”, says Johnson.
Board member Tasha Kama said the board worked long and hard on the tariffs and she supported the resolution.
She hopes that in the future the budget committee will be able to address certain political issues outside the budget process and “take a deeper dive” and “Release something that is maybe a little more balanced according to others.”
Based on council-adopted property tax rates, the county will generate $432 million in property taxes. Under rates proposed by Mayor Michael Victorino, the county would have seen about $419 million.
The full council plans to have a first reading on its fiscal year 2023 budget of nearly $1.07 billion on May 26. Victorino had proposed a budget of nearly $1.05 billion in March.
By law, the council has until June 10 to pass a budget or the mayor’s version takes effect.
* Melissa Tanji can be reached at [email protected]
PROPERTY TAX RATES
• Owner Occupied:
Level 1, up to $1 million: $2
Level 2, $1,000,001 to $3 million: $2.10
Tier 3, over $3 million: $2.71
Level 1, up to $1 million: $5.85
Level 2, $1,000,001 to $4.5 million: $8
Level 3, over $4.5 million: $12.50
• Apartment: $3.50
• Hotel and resort: $11.75
• Timeshare: $14.60
• Short-term rental:
Level 1, up to $1 million: $11.85.
Level 2, $1,000,001 to $3 million: $11.85.
Tier 3, over $3 million: $11.85.
• Agricultural: $5.74
• Storage: $6.43
• Commercial: $6.05
• Industrial: $7.05
• Commercial residential: $4.40
• Long-term rental (new classification):
Level 1, up to $1 million: $3
Tier 2, $1,000,001 to $3 million: $5
Tier 3, over $3 million: $8
All rates are per $1,000 of net taxable assessment.