Can I Get A Hawaii Property Tax Exemption?

So, you bought a new home in Hawaii and you’re wondering if you can get a break on your property taxes. Fortunately for you, there are home exemptions, but they do have some rules.

The first home exemption law was enacted in 1896 by the Republic of Hawaii to provide some tax relief, encourage home ownership and the settlement of land. In 1896, the home exemption amount was $300. Currently, the basic home exemption is $48,000. This means that $48,000 is deducted from the assessed value of the property and the homeowner is taxed on the balance. For homeowners 60 years and older, additional home exemptions are permitted.

Who Qualifies for the Home Exemptions?

You are entitled to the home exemption if:

  1. You own and occupy the property as your principal home (“real property owned and occupied as the owner’s principal home”) means occupancy of a home in the county with the intent to reside in the county. Intent to reside in the county may be evidenced by, but not limited to, the following indicia: occupancy of a home in the city for more than 270 calendar days of a calendar year; registering to vote in the county; being stationed in the county under military orders of the United States; and filing of an income tax return as a resident of the State of Hawaii, with a reported address in the county;
  2. Your ownership is recorded at the Bureau of Conveyances, State Department of Land and Natural Resources, in Honolulu on or before December 31 preceding the tax years for which you claim the exemption. In the case of a lease, the document must indicate that the lessee has a lease for residential purposes for a term of five years or more and will pay all property taxes;
  3. You file a claim for home exemption (Form P-3) with the Real Property Assessment Division on or before December 31 preceding the tax years for which you claim the exemption.

Single Home Exemption
The law allows just one (1) home exemption; if a husband and wife live apart and own separate homes, each shall be entitled to one-half (1/2) of one exemption or to an exemption apportioned between their respective homes in proportion to the assessed value.

Multiple Home Exemptions for Senior Citizens
The multiple home exemption was established to lighten the tax burden for senior citizens who have relatively fixed retirement incomes. Senior citizens who are 60 years or older are eligible to apply.

The multiple home exemption is determined as follows:

  • For those ages 60 to 69, the multiple home exemption is 2 times the basic home exemption. (2 x $48,000 = $96,000)
  • For those ages 70 and older, the multiple home exemption is 2.5 times the basic exemption. (2.5 x $48,000 = $120,000)

To obtain the multiple home exemption, a taxpayer must be 60 years if age on or by December 31, preceding the tax year for which the exemption is claimed.

Additional Home Exemption Based On Income
The exemption claim must be filed each year by December 31. Real property that qualifies for a home exemption is entitled to an additional home exemption in the amount of $55,000 if the annual income is the owner-occupant(s) is less than $40,000.00. The income used for qualifying is the federal & the State of Hawaii adjusted gross income from the year preceding the date of application.

Totally Disabled Veterans
If you are a totally disabled veteran, due to injuries received while on active duty with the U.S. Armed Forces, your home is exempted from all property taxes except the minimum tax. For this special exemption, veterans must file a claim on RP Form P-6 (Rev. 5/94) on or before December 31. The home exemption will remain in effect as long as the veteran claiming the exemption remains totally disabled or the widow or widower of the totally disabled veteran remains unmarried.

Hansen’s Disease
If you have Hansen’s Disease and are confined because of the illness, you are exempt from real property taxes on you real property, up to but not exceeding a taxable value of $50,000. This is in addition to your regular or multiple home exemption. If you are on a temporary released status, you can retain your exemption during that period. Claims for this special exemption must be filed on RP Form P-6 on or before December 31.

Blind, Deaf, or Totally Disabled
If you have impaired sight or hearing or are totally disabled, you may file a claim on RP Form P-6 for a $50,000 real property tax exemption on property you own. This claim is in addition to the regular or multiple home exemption. Your condition must be certified by an authorized physician, who is licensed to practice medicine in the State of Hawaii. “Certification” will be determined on the basis of a written report resulting from an examination performed by the authorized physician.

The following requirements must be satisfied to qualify for the exemption:

  • Blind: An individual whose eyesight does not exceed 20/200 in the better eye with corrective lenses or whose visual sharpness is greater than 20/200. In this latter case, the field of vision must have a width of 20 degrees or less.
  • Deaf: An individual whose average loss in the speech frequencies (500/2,000 hertz) in the better ear is 82 decibels, A.S.A, or worse.

Totally Disabled:
A person who is totally and permanently disabled, either physically or mentally, which results in the person’s inability to engage in any substantial gainful business or occupation. For example, medically-certified heart attack or stroke victims, unable to engage in any substantial gainful business or occupation may qualify for this exemption.

Once filed and granted, these home and real property exemptions do not have to be refiled annually, as long as all requirements continue to be met.

For more information visit:

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April 15, 2008

I just bought a home in Kilauea, Kauai and I will definitely be taking advantage of these property tax exemptions!

Bill Crane

November 12, 2008

Can we qualify for a senior multiple home exemption if we own two residences, but one is not located in Hawaii County?

Maui living vs. Big Island living - Hawaii (HI) - Page 2 - City-Data Forum

April 12, 2009

[…] value. Hawaii has quite a few property tax exemptions. Here is a page with a brief description. Can I Get A Hawaii Property Tax Exemption? | HawaiiLife.com [+] Rate this post […]


April 24, 2009

The style of writing is very familiar . Have you written guest posts for other blogs?

Deep Waters, Sunny Skies–Marlin Fishing in Hawaii

May 31, 2009

[…] Overview of the Big Island of Hawai‘i — The Orchid Island […]

Geraldine R. Harrison

May 3, 2011

Where can I get a request form for property a tax exemption for age 70 now that I’ve achieved that age?


May 3, 2011

Aloha Geraldine,

All you need to do is go to the Property Tax Website: http://www.hawaiipropertytax.com/Main/Home.aspx

On the home page will see a forms and instructions page click on that and you will find your form for the tax exemption in there. Hope this helps.

Michele McKinley

Michele McKinley

May 3, 2011

Aloha Geraldine,

Click on the Tax Brochure second page it will explain:

– For those aged 60 to 69, the exemption amount is $80,000.
– For those 70 and older, the exemption amount is $100,000.
– To obtain the $80,000 or $100,000 exemption, the claimant
must be 60 or 70 years of age on or before December 31,
preceding the tax year.

Tracy Stice

May 3, 2011

For those of you reading Justin’s blog, you have to remember that the numbers he is quoting are correct only for Kauai county. Each county has it’s own rules, tax rates, exemptions. For example, Maui county presently has a $300,000 exemption for owner occupants from the assessed value and a much lower owner occupant rate for property taxes.

This is a very important point. The State of Hawaii does not collect property taxes, the individual counties do. So you have to review each counties site as Kauai, Honolulu ( Oahu ), Maui ( Moloka’i and Lana’i) , and Hawaii.

Michele McKinley

May 3, 2011

Thx Tracy,

I was not even paying attention to that. I just answered very quickly. Thx for pointing that out 🙂

Gary Bland R (S)

May 4, 2011

This is great info. I hope to see someone write one for each of the counties. Tracy is correct about info relates to Kauai only! Good to know in any case.

Ed Smith

January 11, 2013

I am 65 and a veteran. What property tax exemptions am I eligible for?

Michele McKinley

January 11, 2013

Aloha Ed,

It all depends what Island you would be living on. Here is a example for the Big Island:
– For those aged 60 to 69, the exemption amount is $80,000.
– For those 70 and older, the exemption amount is $100,000.
– To obtain the $80,000 or $100,000 exemption, the claimant
must be 60 or 70 years of age on or before December 31,
preceding the tax year.
For being a Veteran it only mentions this:
If you:
1) Are blind, deaf or totally disabled
2) Have Hansen’s disease
3) Are a totally disabled veteran

I hope this helps ED.

jason schmidt

February 20, 2014

Does the hawaii tax exemptions still apply today? I am a disabled veteran and a first time home buyer. What other exemptions are there available to apply for. Is there a website where I could find this information.


Steve Alleman

December 31, 2014

On Oahu there is an exemption for the full price of the house, if you are a 100% disabled vet. You have to pay a minimum tax of $300.00 for the year though. It is real easy to apply for. Go to any county real property division office (I used the one in Kapolei) along with your VA disability award letter and fill out the form they have. For 2015 it had to be filed by 31 December 2014, but now you have plenty of time to file for 2016 and beyond. As long as you keep the 100% rating, you don’t have to file again.

Margaret Daul

January 4, 2016

Hello and thank you for all the great advice. We wondered since we are closing on s condo as our permanent resident in Feb this year do we fill out acetaminophen form immediately or wait until next December tax time, ? Our ages are 62/70. Thank you so much.


April 20, 2016

Complete the exemption form as soon as you are the homeowners 🙂


May 10, 2016

My taxes our 3,100 per yr, how does the $80,000 lower my taxes.

Tracy Stice

May 10, 2016

which island do you live on? The rules are different on every island.

If Maui, reply to me directly, Tracy@hawaiilife.com


May 11, 2016

I’ll be living on the Big Island in Waikalo Village. I’m 65 yrs and the house closes on June 6. When & where do I apply and do I need Hawaii drivers lic? I have my previous license from Ca. And my passport


February 9, 2021

If two people not related purchase a home together in Hawaii, will they qualify for the home exemption if only one of the owners resides in the home on a permanent basis? Or does the exemption get split between the two owners (so one gets the exemption and the other doesn’t)? We were thinking of alternating living there so one will have it one year and the other would have it the next year.

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