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Complaint against Hawaii County candidate too late

August 3, 2014
The Associated Press

HILO (AP) - The Hawaii County clerk won't evaluate a complaint that a council candidate isn't qualified to represent the Puna district because she claimed a homeowner's property tax exemption on a Hilo home.

The complaint against Tiffany Edwards Hunt was filed after the June 10 deadline for candidate objections, County Clerk Stewart Maeda said

But, generally speaking, he said the homeowner's property tax exemption is an issue for county tax collectors rather than the county elections division.

The county looks at where a candidate's physical residence is to determine whether a candidate lives in the district in which they are running, not necessarily where they receive tax breaks.

Sativa Sultan, who shares a home with RJ Hampton, who is also running for the Puna seat, filed the complaint Monday.

Edwards Hunt said she has owned the Hilo home since 2004 but moved to her current house, which her husband owns, in Hawaiian Acres around 2006. He doesn't claim an exemption.

Edwards Hunt said she wasn't aware the tax break was still in effect and that she might be receiving a discount while not meeting the qualifications.

The tax exemption renews itself automatically unless changed by the owner.



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