Some farmers and ranchers are feeling the pinch as Hawaii County tightens loopholes in its generous property tax breaks for farmers and ranchers.
Source: County looks to close abused tax loopholes on ag land | Hawaii Tribune-Herald (http://hawaiitribune-herald.com/news/local-news/county-looks-to-close-abused-tax-loopholes-ag-land).
Accessed on 13 September 2016, 16:00 hrs, UTC.
Reporter: Nancy Cook Lauer (“West Hawaii Today”).
Please click link to read the full story.
Generous tax breaks given to farmers and ranchers on Hawaii Island may be coming to an end. The County Council’s Finance Committee is taking a close look at the revenues generated by program to see if the tax policies are being abused.
According to reporter Nancy Cook Lauer, land in the ag program “is valued for tax purposes at anywhere from $14 to $4,000 an acre, depending on its use and owner’s commitment to a short-term or long-term program…regardless of the property’s real value.”
Peggy Farias, the chief financial officer of W.H. Shipman Ltd, said while “targeting abusers of this system is an admirable goal,…changes to the programs must be done carefully to avoid negative impact on those the programs are designed to benefit.”
Reporter Lauer adds that some farmers and ranchers “feel as if they’re being forced into a preset formula that doesn’t necessarily reflect the realities of the field.”
The Hawaii County Council has wrestled with the problem since a 2012 report outlined problems with the current tax structure for agricultural lands.
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