Honolulu's higher property tax class deemed unconstitutional

Published: Oct. 20, 2016 at 8:56 AM HST
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HONOLULU (AP) - A judge has ruled in favor of a group of Honolulu property owners who challenged the city's residential tax on homes valued at $1 million or more.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports that Tax Appeal Court Judge Gary Chang determined Monday that the Residential A tax classification is unconstitutional.

The classification, approved by the City Council in 2013, applies to million-dollar properties that don't come under a homeowner exemption granted to properties that house owner-occupants. It requires residential A owners to pay $6 per $1,000 of assessed value, while standard residential properties are taxed at $3.50 per $1,000.

Residential A owners say they've been arbitrarily taxed based on their properties' value.

City officials argue that the category helps ensure longtime residents are shielded from higher tax bills.

The city plans to appeal the decision.

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