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KÄ«lauea Eruption

Constitutional Amendment SB2922
Ballot question on November 6 General Election

“Shall the legislature be authorized to establish, as provided by law, a surcharge on investment and real property to be used to support education?”

This amendment would give the Legislature (who meet and convene on Oahu) authority to impose additional taxes at the County level. Real property tax is the ONLY tax the County has sole taxing power for. There is no maximum amount the Legislature can require the Counties to pay.

  • Hawaii is the only state where there is only ONE school district which is operated by the State.
  • “Investment real property” is not defined by the Legislature. All properties in the residential, apartment, commercial, industrial, agricultural & native forest, conservation, hotel & resort as well as all vacant land is considered to be “investment real property”. While the County is hopeful this will exclude any property with a homeowner exemption, most owners view their home as an investment.
  • HSTA asked for $500 million in 2017 in addition to their $2+ billion budget. Now they are stating they need between $200 million to $400 million. This means every parcel on the island of Hawaii would need to pay an additional 25% OR if all homeowners are to be excluded then every other parcel would need to pay an additional 30% for this additional tax.
  • Nothing in the bill or ballot guarantees these will be additional funds that go to the teachers and keiki.
  • The County bond rating will go down which will result in less funding for improvement projects which include roads, parks, fire & police stations, transfer stations, wastewater treatment facilities. A lower bond rating will increase the cost of government which will result in a loss of services or a tax increase.

There is a lot of confusion and misinformation about this ballot measure. Our goal is to provide factual information about the effect our votes will have on our taxes, the community, the county and our personal budgets.