Rental Roulette - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

January 18 2007

Rental Roulette

What to do about property taxes on Oahu? well, the first thing is to look at neighbor island models and models from other municipalities to see what works and what might not be working. What about people who use their second home as a vacation property for themselves, and thus really don't tax our infrastructure except when they infrequently visit? what about retired folks on a fixed income?

What about renters who rent because they can't buy a home on Oahu, who will most assuredly have the increased property taxes pushed down on them by property owners? and what about those who will undoubtedly try to get around the inevitable changes? will penalties be stiff enough for circumventors to think twice before they try to beat the new system?

All of these are vital issues that must be answered before a final vote and verdict occur. In a place where occupancy is near 100 %, where housing is at a premium, and where land is relatively unavailable for most, the right people- the ones who need the fiscal safety net to survive- must be the first ones protected before changes take place on property taxes. Think about it...

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