Kauai council defers crop research land tax bill

LIHUE, Hawaii (AP) - The Kauai County Council is deferring a bill aimed at creating a separate property tax category for crop research and development land.

The Garden Island newspaper reports the move kills any chance of the measure going into effect in the fiscal year starting July 2015.

Measure introducer Councilman Tim Bynam and Councilman Gary Hooser recommended a two-week deferral. But the Finance and Economic Development Committee voted 3-to-1 to push the bill back to Aug. 20. That's 11 days after the primary election.

Former McBryde Sugar Co. employee Adam Killerman testified the bill was an "assault on agriculture."

Hooser says the bill itself wouldn't raise taxes, but merely create another category of agricultural use. However, he recognized taxes could rise for the new category in the future.

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