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Historic Hawaiian homes get big tax breaks

Honolulu Star-Advertiser reporter Rob Perez found that owners of million-dollar historic homes on Oahu were getting major property-tax breaks without meeting a key requirement of the exemption program — that the homes be visible from public streets. He also found that the city did not verify the owners' required statements that the pre-exemption level of taxation was such a burden that the continued existence of the historic homes were threatened. The city simply took the owners' word and granted property-tax exemptions that were among the most generous in the country. Regardless of the value of the homes, owners pay only $300 annually in taxes.

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