Appeals from real property assessments made by the City & County of Honolulu's Real Property Assessment Division are provided for in Sec. 8-12, Revised Ordinances of Honolulu 1990, as amended (ROH).
The City is required by ordinance to assess all real property in its entirety (ROH§E-6.3(a)). This means that the City assesses all properties on their fee simple value, unless otherwise mandated by ordinance.
A taxpayer who files an appeal is obliged to present sufficient evidence to the Board of Review in support of the appeal at the scheduled hearing. The law provides that the assessment made by the Director of Budget and Fiscal Services is presumed to be correct. This means that every person who appeals must prove that the assessed value made by the director is incorrect. Unless sufficient evidence is presented, the board must decide in favor of the Director's assessment.
While sales of similar properties are examples of evidence, sales transactions between relatives, close friends, and persons with close business relationships are usually not considered as sufficient evidence. The fact that a nearby property is assessed lower than that of the property under appeal is not sufficient evidence in and of itself for the Board to lower an assessment. Taxpayers' support may be in the form of providing the Board with sales of properties that are similar, in terms of land area, square foot of living area, year built or remodeled and other amenities.
Assessment personnel of the Real Property Assessment Division are always willing to address taxpayers' concerns. Frequently, these discussions result in a clearer understanding of mass appraisal standards and practices utilized by the Division in order to produce uniform and equitable assessments throughout the county.
BOARDS OF REVIEW CITY AND COUNTY OF HONOLULU BOR FORM 4 (Rev - 02/05)
If you have filed an appeal with the Board of Review and disagree with its decision, you may appeal the Board's decision to the Tax Appeal Court ("TAC"), which will hear your appeal again, subject to Regular Procedure Rules of the Tax Appeal Court. Such an appeal must be commenced within 30 days after the Board's decision is filed. However, it is not necessary to appeal to the Board before filing with the TAC. You may appeal directly to the TAC, located on the 1st floor of the Kaahumanu Hale at 777 Punchbowl Street. Currently, the cost of filing an appeal with the TAC is a $100 non-refundable deposit. The court clerk will notify the parties involved of the place, date and time of the proceedings. If you disagree with the TAC's decision, you may appeal the TAC's decision to a higher court of review.
If the total tax liability you would incur based on the assessment you are protesting is less than $1,000, you may appeal directly to the TAC under the Small Claims Procedure. Also, if your tax liability is less than $1,000 and you have appealed to the Board first, you may appeal a Board decision with which you disagree to TAC under the Small Claims Procedure within 30 days after the Board decision is filed. Under this procedure, appeals are initiated by filing a notice of appeal with the clerk of the TAC, located on the first floor of the Kaahumanu Hale at 777 Punchbowl Street, and paying a non-refundable fee, currently $25. There are specific rules that apply if you proceed under the Small Claims Procedure. For example, if you elect to go through the Small Claims Procedure, you waive your right of appeal to a higher court.
Department of Budget and Fiscal Services
Real Property Assessment Division
Downtown Office [842 Bethel St. Basement Honolulu, Hawaii 96813] (808) 768-3799
Kapolei Office [1000 Uluohia Street, #206 Kapolei, HI 96707] (808) 768-3169