State Supreme Court Hearing on ‘Investment Property Surcharge’ Set

The Supreme Court of the State of Hawai’i has accepted a petition from all four counties to hear their arguments against a constitutional amendment which proposes to allow the state to impose a “surcharge” upon “investment property.”

Hawai`i, Maui, Kauai counties and the City and County of Honolulu filed a lawsuit and motion in the First Circuit Court last month to take the proposed amendment off of the November 6 ballot in the General Election.

The amendment states “shall the legislature be authorized to establish, as provided by law, a surcharge on investment real property to be used to support public education.”

The petition asserts that 1) the state legislature’s proposed “surcharge” is actually a real property tax disguised with another name, 2) that the term “investment property” does not exclude any homeowner properties from possible taxation, and, 3) the proposed constitutional amendment does not require the legislature to increase spending for public education.

The Supreme Court’s acceptance of the writ means the counties and state will argue their positions orally before the Supreme Court Justices on Thursday, October 18, 2018, at 8:45 a.m.