Friday, June 01, 2007

military will get a big TAX break

Council approves property tax break for those in military

WAILUKU – Maui residents serving active duty in the military will get a big break on their property taxes in a bill approved Wednesday by the Maui County Council.

The measure would give military personnel serving in a combat zone or hazardous duty area, or directly supporting combat operations, a full property tax exemption on their homes, requiring them to pay only $60 – the minimum property tax.

To qualify, their properties would have to be already granted a home exemption, meaning it is used as the owner’s primary residence.

Council members voted unanimously for the measure, saying it was meant as a show of support for Maui’s military.

But Council Member Michelle Anderson questioned how many of the county’s troops would be able to benefit from the tax break. She said the council should in the future look at providing a subsidy to veterans to ease their transition home from the war zone.

“I don’t know many 18-, 19-, 20-, 22- or 24-year-olds – who are the people over there – who own a home,” Anderson said.

Council Chairman Riki Hokama noted that many of Maui’s military personnel serve in the reserves, an older demographic likely to be homeowners.

“This recognizes what this county is willing to do for our residents who serve in active duty,” he said.


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