HONOLULU CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATE CALLS FOR EXTENSION OF PROPERTY TAX DEADLINE FOR RESIDENTS AND BUSINESSES AFFECTED BY COVID-19

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 27, 2020Media Contact: Jacob Aki          808-230-9071

(Honolulu, HI) – The COVID-19 pandemic has put undue hardships on many local families and small businesses. With a record number of Hawaiʻi residents unemployed and a looming fiscal crisis, many are trying to figure out how to pay their bills.

Property taxes, which is the City’s largest source of revenue, are due on August 20, 2020 and many unemployed families and small businesses affected by the health crisis are working to figure out how they will make those payments.

Although limited, Honolulu City Council District VII candidate Jacob Aki believes that city leaders need to consider a number of relief measures that include an extension of the upcoming property tax deadline for residents and businesses affected by COVID-19.

He believes that extending the deadline of these payments would be a balanced approach that would ensure that revenue from property taxes continue, while also giving taxpayers temporary relief and time to recover financially.

“Unlike the State who has complete taxing authority over revenue sources such as the general excise tax (GET) and the transient accommodation tax (TAT), the City’s only major revenue source is property taxes,” said Aki.

“While the abatement of the August 20 property tax payments would unfeasible, there are other options that should be considered. In talking with many business owners and community members in my district, simply giving them extra time to make the payment and the flexibility to set up a payment plan would be very beneficial. 

Aki is proposing the following actions:

  1.  Deferment of August 20, 2020 payment of property for residents and businesses affected by COVID-19 until November 20, 2020.
  2. Waiver of penalties and other charges for homeowners, small businesses and other property owners who are unable to pay their property taxes due to COVID-19, as determined on a case-by-case basis.
  3.  Flexibility for taxpayers who are unable to pay property taxes to set up payment plans, as determined on a case-by-case basis.
  4.  Explore the option of deferring the August 20, 2020 payments completely by bonding over the deferral of this payment and issuing municipal bonds.

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