By: Stephen Florino
(KHNL) - Residents demanded something be done about Honolulu's skyrocketing property taxes. A new new tax credit is now in place, but not many people are taking advantage of it.
There are more then 260,000 property owners on Oahu, but only about a thousand of them have applied for the new tax credit. They could be missing out on saving hundreds of dollars.
The property tax office at Honolulu Hale is busy, with homeowners all checking if they qualify for a new tax credit.
"I was like oh wow, yeah let's go down," said Carol Powers.
Because of Hawaii's booming real estate market, home prices have gone up. Meaning property values have gone up. Meaning property taxes have gone up.
"It's been doubled almost," said Carol Holland.
But thanks to the new credit, Holland and her husband Ray will be saving several hundred dollars.
The credit caps off your property tax at four-percent of your income.
"It was very confusing, I couldn't figure it out," said Holland. "But they were very helpful and figured it out for us."
You do need to qualify.
The titleholders on the property cannot make more than $50,000 a year. They cannot own other property, and they must live at that property.
"I imagine it would have been difficult yes," said Ruth Hubbard. "This is wonderful. I was rather shocked when she told me how much I'd be saving."
Hubbard is saving about $600 on her property taxes, which was originally higher than $2000.
City officials say this credit is targeted towards those with a fixed income whose house value has shot up. Those who qualify say it helps.
"A great deal," said Powers.
"It'll help a lot," said Holland. "Any little bit helps."
They say it's like their prayers were answered.
"You just have to have faith, and believe in the lord," said Hubbard.
City officials say they're not sure how many people are eligible, because it is an income-based credit.
The deadline is Monday, October 2nd. If you have questions, you should apply in person at Honolulu Hale.
Bring all your tax forms, and your patience.
There's also a new exemption for homeowners younger than 64-years old. The exemption will increase the deduction from $40,000 to $80,000. But if you're already filed with the city, you do not have to re-apply.
For more information, you can contact the Real Property Assessment Division.