Senator Shimabukuro’s Newsletter Aug. 2019

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‘The Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate: Summary for Policy Makers’ 9/24/19

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Press Release 25 Sep. 2019. Click image to view the entire release.

Senator Shimabukuro’s Newsletter July 2019

Click image to view the 4-page newsletter.

Senator Shimabukuro’s Newsletter June 2019

Click image to view the 4-page newsletter.

Lower-income homeowners must apply annually for tax credit

Kokua Line: Lower-income homeowners must apply annually for tax credit
By Christine Donnelly, Star-Advertiser, 9/17/19

Question: You had something about a property tax credit for low-income homeowners. I don’t recall the date or details. Must my mom file for this every year, or is it automatic? She has been ill much of the last year, and I am trying to help her with various paperwork.

Answer: Yes, this form must be submitted every year. The deadline is Sept. 30.

You are referring to Oahu’s Real Property Tax Credit for Homeowners, which applies a credit to the following year’s property taxes for lower-income homeowners whose property taxes exceed 3% of their annual income. To be eligible:

>> The combined annual income of all titleholders on the property cannot exceed $60,000.

>> None of the titleholders can own other property, in Hawaii or elsewhere.

>> The property must have a home exemption, which signifies that it is occupied by the owner.

You can download the form at or pick up a hard copy at any satellite city hall or at the city’s Treasury Division (530 S. King St., Room 115) or Tax Relief Section (715 S. King St., Room 505).

Instructions for submitting the application and supporting documents are on the form. Applications postmarked on the due date will be accepted, according to the city Department of Budget and Fiscal Services.

The value of the credit is derived by subtracting the 3% figure from the total property tax owed. So, according to the city’s example, an applicant with total annual titleholder income of $25,000 and a property tax bill of $2,500 could expect a credit of $1,750 applied to the following year’s property taxes. This is because 3% of $25,000 is $750, which is subtracted from the property tax bill of $2,500 to derive the credit amount.

We explain this because we’ve heard from other readers who mistakenly expected the tax credit to equal 3% of their income; the credit varies depending on the applicant’s income and the cost of their property taxes.

You can find more information online at, or call the city’s Real Property Tax Relief Office at 768-3205.

We’ll also note that, unlike this credit, a home exemption, once granted, is automatically applied year after year. Your mom doesn’t have to reapply for that; if she has previously qualified for the low-income property tax credit, the home exemption must already be in place.

Q: Can this get her property taxes down to zero?

A: No, the city says the amount of property taxes owed after applying the tax credit can’t be less than the minimum required property tax, which is $300.

Hawai‘i’s Changing Ocean – Free Presentation on 10/3/19

Please join us for a free public address by internationally acclaimed marine biologist Mark Hixon.

Hawai‘i’s Changing Ocean: Bounty, Threats, Solutions
Thursday, October 3, 2019
6:30 p.m.

The Royal Hawaiian Resort
Regency Ballroom
2259 Kalakaua Ave
Honolulu, HI 96815

The Hsiao Endowed Chair in Marine Biology at UH Mānoa, Mark Hixon was recognized in 2004 as the most cited scientific author on coral-reef ecology in the United States. He is an Aldo Leopold Fellow and Fulbright Senior Scholar and has served as chair of the Ocean Sciences Advisory Committee for the National Science Foundation. His TED talks and TV and radio appearances have covered a variety of ocean issues.

Using stunning visuals, Hixon will summarize the many gifts our ocean provides us, describe human-caused threats to our coastal ecosystems, and review practical solutions he believes Hawai‘i must implement as soon as possible. Many of the dangers we face are global, yet Hixon will emphasize remedies that Hawai‘i can take within our coastal jurisdiction.

Presented by the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and the Hawai‘i Community Foundation

Better Tomorrow Speaker Series, College of Natural Sciences, College of Social Sciences, Conservation International, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, Resources Legacy Fund, Royal Hawaiian Resort, Scholars Strategy Network, Sierra Club of Hawai‘i, Surfrider Foundation, Sustainable Coastlines, UH Alumni Relations, The Nature Conservancy

The Royal Hawaiian offers validated event parking: $10 self-park and $15 valet. Validation can be received at the event.

Questions? Please email

To be notified about future events in the UH Better Tomorrow Speaker Series, please click here.

HNN: ‘$32M project aimed at easing gridlock for Waianae-bound commuters’

By Jim Mendoza; HawaiiNewsNow; 08/20/19
[Read the original article and watch the video at the HNN site:]

Some relief is coming for drivers who get stuck in those afternoon bottlenecks heading into Waianae, but don’t expect it right away.

The state has $32 million to add 2.5 miles to the fifth lane it installed two years ago on Farrington Highway.

“We always talk about how Kahala gets this, and Hawaii Kai and Kailua gets all the attention, and no one cares about Waianae,” state Sen. Maile Shimabukuro said.

“This is finally proof that people do care about us.”

The present length is just 1.2 miles and runs from Nānākuli Avenue to Haleakala Avenue.

Most of the day the fifth lane is used as a turnout lane, but during the afternoon rush it’s used as a contraflow lane for westbound drivers.

Ken McNamara said it makes a huge difference in his trip home.

“I’ve been living out here for 14 years now and commute every day and work in Campbell. It actually has taken about 20 minutes off my drive home every night,” he said.

Shimabukuro said the fifth lane also saves time during the morning drive.

“In the morning, it’s gotten way better. When you’re trying to leave Waianae it takes maybe 20 minutes off your commute,” she said.

She expects even more time savings when the the state Department of Transportation extends the fifth lane another 2.5 miles that will take it all the way to Hakimo Road.

“It should make a lot of difference because the traffic we got in here is one way in and one way out,” leeward coast resident Reno Freuan said.

But the improvement won’t happen overnight.

HDOT hopes to put the lane extension project out to bid by the middle of 2021.

“We would love it as soon as possible. But I appreciate and know that DOT is working as fast they can to make this happen,” Shimabukuro said.

“What’s another year?” McNamara said.

Shimabukuro said meetings will begin in October for community feedback.

“It would not have been possible without the support of the executive branch – the governor, DOT and of course the House and Senate of the legislature,” she said.

Some of the money for the project will come from the state’s surcharge on rental cars.

HDOT will also lengthen the shared-use path on the makai side of the highway and finalize pavement reconstruction and pedestrian safety measures.


**Message from Sen. Shimabukuro:

Mahalo nui loa for this strong coordinated effort between the Legislature’s Senate, House and Executive Branch to allocate $32m to improve Farrington Highway, where I had the pleasure of working closely with:

– Representative Stacelynn Eli

– Representative Cedric Gates

– Edwin Sniffen, DOT Deputy Director of Highways

– Senator Gilbert Keith-Agaran

– Representative Kyle Yamashita

– Senator Donovan Dela Cruz

– Representative Sylvia Luke

– Both Senate & House Leadership

– Governor David Ige

** The length and scope of the 5th lane extension, and secondary access will be part of the Farrington Highway Corridor Study. For more information about the study, call 808-628-5861. Also, join the mailing list to be informed of meetings and updates regarding the Farrington Highway Corridor Study by clicking this link:

** Link to previous studies regarding Wai`anae Coast secondary access, Kole Kole Pass, Farrington Highway widening, and other traffic concerns:

**Link to 08/20/19 news article: