The Real Property Assessment Division administers provisions of Chapter 8, Revised Ordinances of Honolulu, relating to the assessment of real property for tax purposes. It ensures real property assessment values are fair and equitable, based on market value and in accordance to applicable standards and laws.
The division's mission is to annually provide the City Council of Honolulu with a certified assessment roll. The Council uses this roll to set the tax rates for eight general land classes, which generates property tax revenues for the City. To accomplish its mission, the division identifies real property parcels and respective owners; appraises parcels; processes exemption and dedication claims filed; notifies owners of the assessments placed on their respective properties; settles real property assessment and tax appeals; and maintains and updates maps, ownership records, valuation records, and computer and other required files.
The division is located at 842 Bethel Street, with a branch office in Kapolei Hale at 1000 Uluohia Street. It is staffed by 111 permanent employees and is organized into four branches - Administrative/Technical, Assessment, Mapping, and Support Services.
The Administrative/Real Property Technical Branch has 13 employees. This branch is responsible for the development of rules and regulations, amendments to the property tax ordinance, administrative policies and procedures, building classifications, cost factors, training of appraisers, and technical support for all counties in the State of Hawaii.
Internal audits are conducted to ensure that assessment values are in compliance to standard ratio studies established by professional appraisal and assessment organizations.
The Assessment Branch has 56 employees, 16 of whom are situated in Kapolei. This branch is responsible for maintaining property records, annually assessing all properties, approving various exemption and dedication claims, and defending the assessed values at Board of Review and Tax Appeal Court.
The Mapping Branch has 23 employees, 6 of whom are situated in Kapolei. The Mapping Branch is responsible for maintaining ownership records and providing up-to-date tax maps influenced by subdivisions and parcel consolidations. In addition to our division, other government agencies and the general public use these maps and ownership records.
The Mapping Branch has made technological changes in processing ownership and mapping changes. They include the use of scanned images of recorded documents, and the updating of parcel data to the GIS base map.
The Support Services Branch has 19 employees, 4 of whom are situated in Kapolei. This branch is responsible for customer service at the counter, on the phone, via email, and in the division's research room.
This branch processes all homeowners' and various other exemption claims, Board of Review appeals, and Tax Appeal Court cases. The Support Services Branch prepares adjustments to taxes resulting from amended property values, appeal decisions, and sale of government parcels.
There are three Boards of Review that resolve real property assessment and/or disallowances of exemption disputes between taxpayers and the Real Property Tax Assessor. There are 2 employees providing support of this function. These Boards are attached to the division for administrative support and consist of five members each. Members are appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council for five-year terms.