Department of Budget and Fiscal Services

Real Property Assessment Division

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Appeal Information

The Real Property Assessment Division annually sends a notice of assessment to property owners (on or before December 15), showing the assessed value of the property, the general land class of the property, and the amount of exemption, if any. After reviewing your notice of assessment, if you do not agree with the assessed value of the property, the classification of the property, or the amount of the exemption allowed, you may file an appeal on or before January 15 preceding the tax year.

However, prior to filing an appeal, you are encouraged to contact the appraisers at one of the locations listed below to discuss any questions you may have; in many instances, misunderstandings are cleared up during this discussion.

The taxpayer has the option to appeal to the Board of Review of the City and County of Honolulu or to the Tax Appeal Court of the State of Hawaii.

If you have not received your assessment notice within a few days of December 15, you may review your assessment information at the City and County of Honolulu's Real Property Assessment and Tax Billing Information website or you can contact the Real Property Assessment Division at one of the following locations:

842 Bethel Street Basement
Honolulu, HI 96813
Tel: (808) 768-3799

1000 Uluohia Street, #206
Kapolei, HI 96707
Tel: (808) 768-3799

Property Taxes

Neither the amount of your property tax bill nor the increase in your property tax bill is a valid basis for an appeal. If you have questions concerning the amount of your tax bill, late payments, your billing address, or tax credits, contact the Treasury Division at bfstreasmailbox@honolulu.gov or at:

Real Property Tax Collection
Division of Treasury
530 South King Street Room 115
Honolulu, HI 96813

Information regarding your property taxes can be viewed at the City and County of Honolulu's Real Property Assessment and Tax Billing Information website.

You may also visit the Treasury Division's webpage.

Grounds for Appeal

When you file an appeal, you must state the basis for your appeal. For real property tax cases, the ROH Section 8-12.3 specifies four grounds for appeal.

  1. Assessment of the property exceeds by more than 10 percent of the market value of the property, or
  2. Lack of uniformity or inequality, brought about by illegality of the methods used or error in the application of the methods to the property involved, or
  3. Denial of an exemption to which the taxpayer is entitled and for which such person has qualified, or
  4. Illegality, on any ground arising under the Constitution or laws of the United States or the laws of the state or the ordinances of the city in addition to the ground of illegality of the methods used mentioned in clause 2.

Deposit Cost of An Appeal

City and County of Honolulu Board of Review - $50 beginning tax year 2017-18.

Where to Get A CITY AND COUNTY Appeal Form

Board of Review (BFS-RP-P51) form is available at www.realpropertyhonolulu.com or contact our office by phone with your Parcel ID (Tax Map Key) at: (808) 768-3799.

Second Appeal

If you filed an appeal last year and the appeal is pending, an appeal on your behalf will automatically be placed on this year's assessment, provided the new assessment was not changed from the assessment under appeal. However, if this year's valuation differs from the valuation under appeal, you must file a new appeal if you want to contest this year's assessment.

AVENUES OF APPEAL

The taxpayer has the option to appeal to the Board of Review of the City and County of Honolulu or to the Tax Appeal Court of the State of Hawaii.

You may appeal to the Board of Review of the City and County of Honolulu by submitting a completed appeal form (BFS-RP-P-51) with the required deposit amount.

APPEAL TO THE BOARD OF REVIEW

TAXPAYER INFORMATION - BOARD OF REVIEW

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 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.

HOW TO SUPPORT YOUR APPEAL

Provide supporting documentation for your appeal case to your appraiser and the Board of Review. In an effort to expedite the appeal process and to minimize your wait time for a Board of Review hearing, appellants are encouraged to submit their evidence and supporting documentation with their appeal or shortly thereafter. This will enable the assigned appraiser to review your assessment in a timely manner. If you are submitting evidence separately from the appeal form, please include your name, Parcel ID/TMK, year of the appeal, contact information such as a phone number, mailing address, and/or email address, and submit to either Real Property Assessment Office.

Types of documentation may include comparable fee simple market sales, contractor estimates to repair deficient items, and other evidence indicating the assessed value exceeds the fee simple market value by more than 10%.

Tax Payment

Even though you have an appeal pending, you must pay all taxes by the due dates or you will be subject to penalty and interest charges. If you win your case, any overpayment will be adjusted.

Appeal Submittal - Acceptable methods:

  • Option A - Visit our website and click "File an Appeal" icon. You will need your Unique Identification Number (UID) from your Real Property Assessment Notice.
  • Option B -  Complete the "Notice of Real Property Assessment Appeal" (Form BFS-RP-P-51) and mail or walk-in your appeal with a $50 deposit.
  • Option C - Submit an appeal in writing. An appeal in writing must include the following:
       
    1. Identify the property and the assessment year. It is preferable to use the parcel identification number (Parcel ID) that can be found on the top left corner of the Real Property Assessment Notice.
    2. State the grounds of appeal. See the previous reference to the four grounds for appealing and instructions on the back of the appeal form (Form BFS-RP-P-51). If appealing the exemption, property value, or land class, state the total value for the exemption, total property value as a single value, or land class.
    3. Must be signed by the owner. If a representative is appealing on behalf of an owner, the representative must submit a written authorization to represent the owner.
    4. Include a deposit of $50. If an appeal to the BOR is compromised or sustained as to any amount of the valuation in dispute, the costs deposited shall be returned to the appellant.
    5.    

Real Property Assessment Division
842 Bethel Street, Basement
Honolulu, HI 96813
(808) 768-3799

Real Property Assessment Division
1000 Uluohia Street, #206
Kapolei, HI 96707
(808) 768-3799

Important Note: The completed appeal form or written submittal and deposit must be received and date-stamped on or before 4:30pm at one of our offices or by 11:59pm online, by 30 days of notice of assessment.  If the appeal is mailed, it must be postmarked by a government postal service by 30 days of the notice of assessment. An appeal cannot be submitted by facsimile (fax) or via email. If a receipted copy of the appeal is requested, enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope.

Board of Review Members

First Board of Review
1. Ruth M.F. Lin, Chair
2. Scott Hayashi, Vice-Chair
3. Tina Yim Ting Au
4. Cameron Higgins
5. vacant

Second Board of Review
1. Randall C. Whattoff, Chair
2. Jeffrey Freitas, Vice-Chair
3. Claire E. Goldberg
4. Donald Lau
5. Catherine Segi

Third Board of Review
1. Jacinto "Jack" Legal, Chair
2. Michael J. Golojuch, Sr., Vice-Chair
3. Vince Otsuka
4. Jennifer Andrews
5. vacant