§232-7  Taxation board of review; duties, powers, procedure before.  (a)  The taxation board of review shall hear informally all disputes between the assessor and any taxpayer in all cases in which appeals have been duly taken and the fact that a notice of appeal has been duly filed by a taxpayer shall be conclusive evidence of the existence of a dispute; provided that this subsection shall not be construed to permit a taxpayer to dispute an assessment to the extent that it is in accordance with the taxpayer's return.

     (b)  At least two board members shall be present at any meeting or proceeding of the board to constitute a quorum.  The board shall validate its actions by a concurrence of a majority of the members who heard the appeal.  The board shall hear, as speedily as possible, all appeals presented for each year.  Each appeal shall be considered a contested case hearing under section 91-9.  Written notice of the hearing shall meet the requirements of section 91-9.5; provided that if the notice is sent to the taxpayer's last known address, a return receipt shall not be required and, in lieu of a return receipt, the board shall post the notice on its website for a minimum of fifteen consecutive days before the scheduled hearing date and provide confirmation that the notice was mailed.  Taxpayers and others appearing before the board may also participate via teleconference or any other cost-efficient means of the board's choosing.

     (c)  A taxpayer's identity and final documents submitted in support or opposition of an appeal shall be public information; provided that an individual taxpayer shall be authorized to redact all but the last four digits of the taxpayer's social security number from any accompanying tax return.  The board may decide all questions of fact and all questions of law, excepting questions involving the Constitution or laws of the United States, necessary to the determination of the objections raised by the taxpayer in the notice of appeal; provided that the board shall not have the power to determine or declare an assessment illegal or void.  Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, the board shall have the power to allow or disallow exemptions pursuant to law, whether or not previously allowed or disallowed by the assessor, and to increase or lower any assessment.

     (d)  The board shall base its decision solely on the law and evidence presented directly to it by the parties and, as provided in section 231-20, the assessment made by the assessor shall be deemed prima facie correct.  All decisions of the board shall be reduced to writing and shall state separately the board's findings of fact and conclusions of law.  The board shall file with the assessor concerned its decision in writing on each appeal decided by it, and a certified copy of the decision shall be furnished by the assessor to the taxpayer concerned by delivery or by mailing the copy addressed to the taxpayer's last known place of residence.

     (e)  The board and each member thereof, in addition to all other powers, shall also have the power to subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, examine books and records, and hear and take evidence in relation to any subject raised by the parties before the board.  The tax appeal court shall have the power, upon request of the board, to enforce by proper proceedings the attendance of witnesses, giving of testimony by witnesses, and production of books, records, and papers at the hearings of the board. [L 1932 2d, c 40, §40; RL 1935, §1939; am L 1939, c 208, §6; RL 1945, §5203; am L 1951, c 133, §7; RL 1955, §116-4; am L Sp 1957, c 1, §13(c); am L Sp 1959 1st, c 28, §1; am L 1963, c 92, §§3 to 6; am L 1967, c 37, §1, c 231, §1, and c 255, §§18, 41, 46; HRS §232-7; am L 1969, c 170, §27; am L 1975, c 157, §32; gen ch 1985; am L 1989, c 14, §6; am L 2009, c 166, §18; am L 2013, c 59, §2; am L 2021, c 118, §4; am L 2022, c 218, §2]


Case Notes


  These are statutory administrative tribunals of special and limited jurisdiction.  34 H. 515 (1938).

  Board has no authority to increase the assessment at the instance of the State upon an appeal filed by the taxpayer.  56 H. 229, 533 P.2d 1218 (1975).