It’s that time of year again…homeowner exemption applications are due by the end of the year. If you have just bought a property in 2012 and are living in your home on Maui as a primary residence, or if you owned your primary residence and never knew about the homeowner exemption, then do complete the homeowner exemption application to start saving a lot of money. You will get taxed at the lowest rate and get the homeowner exemption. Here is the link to the application:

Per the flyer “Understanding Property Taxes” by the County of Maui, the version dated 7/9/12, “…if you own and occupy your property as your principal residence on January 1, you will be eligible for a single exemption of $200,000. This amount will be deducted from your property assessment before your net taxable value is calculated.”

The Real Property Tax brochure continues, “For example, if you own a house and lot valued at $550,000 and are eligible for a single home exemption of $200,000, your net taxable value will be $350,000. This figure is divided by 1,000 then multiplied by the applicable tax rate, which is set by the County Council, to determine the taxes owed.”

In this example ablove, $350,000 divided by 1,000 is 350. 350 multiplied by the Homeowner rate ($2.75 for 2012-2013 tax year) = $962.50 is your tax owed.

Be aware that the 2012-2013 tax rates (set by the County Council) as well as the homeowner exemption was recently changed. The previous year, the homeowner exemption was $300,000.

If your property is valued low enough, and you qualify for a homeowner’s exemption, you will only owe the minimum tax of $250 to the County. What a deal! Maui owners should appreciate how low their taxes are relative to many other places in the country.

You only have to file the homeowner exemption application once for your property and the homeowner rate and exemption will apply until there is a change in status. At that time, the owner has the responsiblity to inform the County of any change or may be subject to a penalty. If you are a new owner of a property, you must file the application, even if the old owner had a homeowner exemption.