Thursday, January 25, 2001
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Posted on: Thursday, January 25, 2001

Fewer appeals on property values filed

By Lynda Arakawa
Advertiser Capitol Bureau

The number of appeals of property assessment fell this year, city officials say.

City spokeswoman Carol Costa said Tuesday that the city received 2,000 appeals as of the Jan. 16 deadline; 2,576 appeals were filed last year. She said of the 2,000 appeals, 550 were filed by public utilities.

Oahu property values have grown about 2 percent over last year, with the residential classification increasing by 3.5 percent. City officials have said the higher values would translate into an extra $3.5 million to $4 million for the city.

The city took a different approach in assessing property values this year by taking into account the actual sales of properties in the area.

Costa said the city received 1,910 appeals in 1998; 3,240 appeals in 1997; and 4,453 appeals 1996. She said this year’s appeals declined partly because the city has provided more information to property owners who questioned assessments.

Among those who appealed is Blair Craig, a 56-year-old consultant from Hawaii Kai who said his property tax assessment increased by $140,000 — a 30.8 percent jump — over last year. Five other homeowners in his neighborhood also filed appeals, he said.

Craig said city officials told him the increase on his 1974 home was based on the $549,000 sale of a neighboring house. He called the sale price an anomaly, saying the home sales in the neighborhood have ranged from $390,000 to $465,000.

"Everybody knows that’s not indicative of a normal house sale," Craig said. "It was never really on the market when it opened. It was bought for cash by a nonresident."

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