Bill 37 (2022): County should increase income eligibility for real property tax credit

The following testimony was submitted by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii for consideration by the Honolulu City and County Council Committee on Budget on April 4, 2023.

April 4, 2023
9 a.m.
Honolulu City Council Chambers

 To: Honolulu City and County Council, Committee on Budget
       Councilmember Radiant Cordero, Chair
       Councilmember Matt Weyer, Vice Chair

 From: Grassroot Institute of Hawaii
            Ted Kefalas, Director of Strategic Campaigns


Comments Only

Dear Chair and Committee Members:

The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii would like to offer its comments on Bill 37 (2022), which would increase the income eligibility for the real property tax credit from $60,000 to $70,000.

We support increasing the value of the real property tax credit to assist lower-income homeowners.

One proposed amendment to this bill would increase the income eligibility for this credit to $90,000 — just less than 90% of the area median income in 2022.[1]

Another of the proposed amendments would increase its value to $80,000 — just less than 80% of AMI for 2022.[2]

On paper, Bill 38 is preferable to Bill 37, but we are sensitive to the idea that Bill 38 could prove somewhat harder to administer, since the income threshold would change each year.

Thus, while Bill 37 would not index the credit to changes in personal income, it would be a dramatic improvement above the status quo.

Thank you for the opportunity to testify.


Ted Kefalas
Director of Strategic Campaigns
Grassroot Institute of Hawaii

[1]Honolulu County Income Schedule by Family Size,” Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corp., 2022, p. 16.
[2]  Ibid.

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