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Hawaii Home Exemption Law

The home exemption law was enacted in 1896 by the Republic of Hawaii to provide tax relief, encourage home ownership. In 1896, the exemption amount was $300. There is a $100 minimum real property tax.

Shark's Cove view Currently, the basic home exemption is $40,000. This means $40,000 is deducted from the assessed value of the property and the homeowner is taxed on the balance.

You are entitled to the home exemption if:

1) You own and occupy the property as your principal home. This is evidenced by, occupancy of a home for more than 270 calendar days of a calendar year; registering to vote; being stationed under military orders; and filing of an income tax return as a resident of the State of Hawaii, with an address in the city your home resides in;

2) Your ownership is recorded at the Bureau of Conveyances, on or before Sept. 30 preceding the tax year for which you claim the exemption. For lessees, the lease should be for residential purposes for a term of five years or more and lessee will pay all property taxes;

3) You file a claim for home exemption with the Real Property Assessment Division on or before Sept. 30 preceding the tax year for which you claim the exemption.

Single Home Exemption

The law allows just one (1) home exemption; if a husband and wife live apart and own separate homes, each shall be entitled to one-half (1/2) of one exemption or an amount in proportion to the assessed value.

Multiple Home Exemptions for Senior Citizens

This exemption was established to lighten the tax burden for senior citizens who have relatively fixed incomes. Citizens who are 55 years or older are eligible to apply. Additional exemptions are added as age increases capping at 3 times the basic home exemption rate for homeowners age 70 and older.

Other Exemptions

The law allows for additional exemptions for totally disabled Veterans; Hansen's disease and blind, deaf or totally disabled persons.

If You Sell, Rent or Purchase Another Home

If there is a change which might affect your home exemption, such as no longer occupying the property as your home, ceasing to own the property, and/or renting the property, then you must report the change within 30 days. Failure to file a report within 30 days may result in a penalty and additional taxes being assessed.

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