It’s good to have an ally who knows his stuff

Honolulu Star Advertiser

If you wanted to challenge a controversial tax law in Hawaii, you couldn’t do much better than to enlist a former state tax director who has, among other things, worked in the state Attorney General’s Office, the Internal Revenue Service’s Office of the Chief Counsel, taught tax law at the University of Hawaii and was co­ chair of the Chamber of Commerce’s tax committee. That would be Ray Kamikawa, who these days is with the law firm Chun Kerr LLP and also is representing Schuyler “Lucky” Cole, whose firm manages vacation and other rental properties.

On behalf of Cole, Kamikawa is challenging the city’s Residential A property tax classification, which taxes non­owner­occupied homes valued at $1 million or more at a rate almost twice as much as what owner­ occupied homes are taxed. Kamikawa contends that is illegal, and if he’s right, the days of the Residential A classification could be numbered.