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Honolulu vs Hawaii Property Tax Rates

Honolulu real property tax is always a topic of conversation. With land values escalating so fast, it’s big news when it goes up so it’s an element of life here that local homeowners discuss whenever and wherever they meet.

That makes it all the more surprising when you actually compare Honolulu real estate property taxes to the rest of Hawaii’s property tax levels. Believe it or not, overall it’s lower in Honolulu County than any other Island, but that’s not the whole story. Let’s look at the numbers to understand where it is and where it isn’t.

CountyDesignationTax Per $1,000 Assessed Value (Building)Tax Per $1,000 Assessed Value (Land)Owner Occupant Exemption from Assessed Value
Residential$3.5$3.5$80K/Under 65, $120K/65+
Residential (non-owner occupied)$5.75$5.75
Apartment (non-owner occupied)$6.4$6.4
Homeowner$6.15$6.15$40K/Under 60, $80K/60+, $100K/70+
Residential (non-owner occupied)$10.05$10.05
Affordable Rental Housing (non-owner occupied)$6.15$6.15
Apartment (non-owner occupied)$10.85$10.85
Homestead (owner occupied)$3.05#3.05$160K/Under 60, $180K/60+, $200K/70+
Residential (non-owner occupied)$5.75$5.75

How Do Honolulu’s Real Property Tax Rates Compare to the Rest of Hawaii?

You’ll notice that Maui & Kauai do offer lower rates for owner-occupied properties, designated under their ‘Homeowner’ and ‘Homestead’ labels. Oahu, though a little higher, keeps things simple, applying 1 rate to all types of residential properties. The other Hawaii Counties all have a range of rates, which vary widely, according to the property type and who resides there.

Honolulu’s property tax rate is the same for all residences, whether the owner lives in them or not. If you own, and live in, your home, Maui & Kauai do offer a more affordable rate. They both also gives owner-occupants larger exemptions than Honolulu. If you plan to buy any more property than beyond your own home, though, you’re looking at a very different tax bill.

Investors and 2nd home buyers in Honolulu’s market, who pay the same $3.50/$1000 rate, would face serious sticker shock for the same property in Hawaii’s other counties. As you can see in the above table, the hike would be, at the lowest, a hike of $2.25 Per $1000 for a Residential property on Kauai, to a high of paying an additional $7.35/$1000 on a Big Island apartment! That’s a big jump. So how do you figure out your property taxes in Honolulu?

Figuring Out Your Honolulu Property Tax
You’ve probably guessed from the table that you pay $3.50 per $1000 of the value of your buildings & land. True, but there are exemptions you can apply to save some money. For homeowners under the age of 65 and living on the property, you can subtract $80K from the assessed value.

If you’re 65 or over, that exemption goes up to $120K. So there is some relief, especially for seniors. There are different exemptions for low-income, those over 75, investor-owners and others, so looking into what you specifically are allowed is important.

It’s not the Honolulu property tax rate that’s high. It’s our land values that are, rising to heights unimaginable to our kupuna when they purchased their homes decades ago. That steep appreciation is the reason for our preoccupation with these taxes year after year. Still, we do know one thing – lucky we live in Hawaii!

Honolulu vs Hawaii Property Tax Rates was last modified: June 11th, 2020 by Hawaii Living

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