Advocacy Updates

Rail Transit Plan Submitted to FTA

With support from the Hawai‘i State Legislature, Governor David Ige, Honolulu City Council leadership, and HART, the City has been able to deliver the financial plan to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) which allows for the completion of the rail project to Ala Moana. According to the City, there is no alternative that will provide transportation equity to the tens of thousands of families who will use rail every day to get into town quickly and easily, without spending countless hours in gridlock. 

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Real Property Tax: Highest and Best Use, and Why You Should Care

By Tom Yamachika, President, Tax Foundation of Hawaii

Earlier this year, the City & County of Honolulu tinkered with its real property tax system.  People who aren’t aware of what happened may find themselves with property tax bills many times what they are now.

In Honolulu, as in most other counties here and in many jurisdictions on the Mainland, there are several property tax classifications.  For example, there is residential use that is taxed at $3.50 per $1,000 of assessed value; commercial use, taxed at $12.40; and hotel/resort, taxed at $12.90.  The classification that you fall in is determined by the “highest and best use” of your property. 

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City Changes Rules Related to Water Quality

The Department of Planning and Permitting is implementing new water quality rules effective August 16 that will affect developers, contractors, designers, businesses, and homeowners planning to file grading or building permit applications. The rules are intended to protect the city’s streams and our fragile coral reefs from the impacts of development.

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Sprinkler Retrofit Passes First Reading

On the heels of the recent Marco Polo condominium fire, which cost three people their lives, Bill 69 introduced by the administration has passed first reading and will be heard in the Committee on Executive Matters and Legal Affairs. Expecting contentious discussion, the bill will likely face opposition by condo owners who could pay thousands to install sprinklers, and strong support by the Honolulu Fire Department which sent over a hundred fire fighters into the Marco Polo.

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