The Honolulu City Council on Tuesday voted 9-0 to override a veto on Bill 3 relating to property taxes.

The bill, according to a press release, increases the basic property tax exemption from $80,000 to $100,000 for homeowners that reside in their home.

The senior exemption rises from $120,000 to $140,000. The change will take effect next year.

Honolulu City Council Member Heidi Tsuneyoshi listen to public testimony.
Honolulu City Councilwoman Heidi Tsuneyoshi. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

“The last time we increased real property tax exemptions was in 2006, and the values of our homes were much different then,” said Councilwoman Heidi Tsuneyoshi, the author of the legislation. “Bill 3 is a very modest approach to give our residents some very needed support for the substantial increases in their real property assessments.”

In his veto message, Mayor Kirk Caldwell said he appreciated the council’s work on increasing property tax exemptions for Oahu homeowners, and that he supports such legislation.

But the mayor wants the council to introduce a new bill “that will provide targeted property tax breaks to those who need it most, for example our kupuna,” he said in a press release earlier this month.

Caldwell is also requesting the council convene the Oahu Real Property Tax Advisory Commission “to determine the implications associated with any new property tax policy, as Bill 3 would hamper the city’s ability to provide core services to all residents by decreasing revenue an estimated $10.3 million.”

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