The Honolulu City Council has introduced a Bill 44, relating to the taxation of real property, which will remove horses as “livestock”. In doing so, they are attempting to circumvent “gentleman estates” from using horses as a tax exemption on their property. Unfortunatley, by doing so, it has a huge impact on ALL horseowners, and the impact could be devastating.
Currently, if a property owner has horses on agriculture land, the horses can be claimed as livestock and therefore be a tax exemption. “Gentleman estates” refers to property owners who have a large parcel of ag land, and may set aside a small portion, put one or two horses on it and claim the livestock exemption.
Bill 44 (2012) removes the status of livestock on horses, which now means horses are considered pets. All landowners who have been claiming their horses as livestock will see an increase in their property taxes by at least as 10%. This could have a devastating effect on stable owners and horse owners. This increase could mean land owners losing their lands because they will be unable to meet the additional tax burden.
But what does it also mean to horse owners? If horses are pets, instead of livestock, the price of feed will go up at least 10%. The cost of boarding your horse will go up at least 10% in an effort to meet the addtional tax burden to the owner. It is costly enough to own a horse already.
It is our hope and intent that Bill 12 will fix bill 44. However if it does not pass this March, then we want Bill 44 repealed.