If you purchased a new home in the past year, don't forget to claim your Oahu Home Exemption by Sept. 30, 2023, to avoid paying a higher property tax rate.
What is the homeowner exemption on Oahu?
A homeowner exemption reduces the annual property tax bill for qualified homeowners on Oahu. The first home exemption law in Hawaii was enacted in 1896 by the Republic of Hawaii to provide tax relief and encourage homeownership. The home exemption amount in 1896 was $300.
If you purchased a new home this year, be sure to file your homeowner exemption by Sept. 30, 2023, to avoid paying a higher tax rate. Exemptions claimed by Sept. 30, 2023, will be effective July 1, 2024.
How much is the Oahu home exemption?
Beginning tax year 2024-2025, the home exemption will be $120,000 for homeowners under the age of 65 (and for homeowners who do not have their birthdate on file). This means that $120,000 is deducted from the assessed value of the property and the homeowner is taxed on the balance.
For homeowners ages 65 years and older, the home exemption is $160,000. To qualify for this exemption amount, you must be 65 years or older on or before June 30 of the preceding tax year for which the exemption is claimed.
Property owners with an existing home exemption with their date of birth on file do not need to re-apply for the new exemption amounts. Exemption amounts will automatically increase depending on the homeowner's age.
Who qualifies for an Oahu home exemption?
Most owner-occupants will qualify for a home exemption.
To qualify, you must:
- Own and occupy the property as your main home (that means you must live there for 270 days out of the calendar year)
- Have your ownership recorded at the Bureau of Conveyances, State Department of Land and Natural Resources, in Honolulu, on or before Sept. 30 of the preceding tax year for which you claim the exemption.
- File a claim for home exemption with the Real Property Assessment Division on or before Sept. 30 preceding the tax year for which you claim the exemption.
What do I need to file for an Oahu home exemption?
It's best to file your Oahu Home Exemption Claim within the first 90 days of purchasing your home so you don't forget; however, you have until September 30 to file. This is a "one-and-done" claim, so once you've claimed your exemption, you don't need to do so each year (unless you move).
To save you some time, you'll also need these items handy:
- Tax map key/parcel ID of your property (TMK number)
- Proof of age, including driver's license, state ID, birth certificate or other legal document
For more information, please visit the City and County of Honolulu website.
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