Advocacy Updates

2016 City Council Candidates

June 7 was the filing deadline for candidates seeking election to City Council. Races with only two candidates will be voted on during the general election. Races with three or more candidates will be voted on during the primary election. If a candidate secures 50 percent of the vote plus one, then that candidate will win the race outright. If no candidate receives a majority, then the top two vote getters will move on to the general election.

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Bill Proposes Waiving ADU Costs

Wed., May 4, city council will hear Bill 27 for second reading, and return it to the Zoning Committee. Bill 27 proposes to create incentives for accessory dwelling unit (ADU) production by temporarily exempting ADUs from certain fees and to permanently exempt ADUs from the requirement to provide or dedicate land for park and playground purposes. The bill also proposes waiving permit fees for grading and grubbing related to ADU development and requires the Department of Planning and Permitting to approve or deny an ADU permit request within 30 days.

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Property Tax Relief Bill Moves Ahead

Bill 21, which provides property tax relief to property owners who dedicate their property for lifetime residential use, is receiving opposition from the Department of Budget and Fiscal Services (BFS). However, the bill will move to a second reading before the full council. BFS testified that the bill would discriminate against certain groups of property owners. They explained that when real property taxes are limited by a specified percentage increase year over year in a rising market, new owners, including first-time homebuyers, will bear a greater proportion of the taxes than their neighbors. The length of time of ownership has no direct correlation to the ability to pay real property taxes.

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 Bank of Hawaii