Proposed Changes to Taxes on Historic Homes

If you’re interested in the preservation of historic homes on Oahu, today’s column is for you. This Wednesday, Nov. 10, the Honolulu City Council’s Budget Committee, chaired by councilmember Nestor Garcia, will hold a public hearing to discuss Bill 55 and Resolution 10-274, both of which will impact residences placed on the Hawaii Register of Historic Places after Jan. 1, 1977.

• Bill 55 would amend the minimum real property tax for historic residential properties dedicated for preservation, requiring owners of historic homes to pay an unspecified percentage of the property’s assessed value, rather than the current minimum annual tax. In essence, it will become that much more expensive to own and maintain a historic home on Oahu.
• Perhaps in light of a recent Star-Advertiser article that criticized the lack of city enforcement of historic homes’ public-view rules, Resolution 10-274 “urges the city administration to enforce” the visual-access requirements for historic residential properties receiving the real property tax exemption. Homeowners would need to provide reasonable visual access of the property to the public. Failure to do so under the resolution would result in the cancellation of the tax exemption.

Public hearing: Wed., Nov. 10 at 9 a.m., Committee Meeting Room, second floor, Honolulu Hale.

For additional information about Bill 55 and Resolution 10-274 and how to submit written testimony or register to speak at the hearing, visit: