Public land is a huge benefit for the county in that it:
- Preserves the island’s character, and gives us places to go.
- Plays a key role in keeping us competitive in the real estate market.
- Helps maintain our property values.
- Is the underlying driver of our tourism/service businesses.
- Does not create a need for additional taxes as does development (EMS/hospital/schools/roads/library/fire district).
If all Land Bank property were taxed, and the tax rate was lowered as a result, the savings to property owners would be roughly $2 per $100,000 in value. The Land Bank owns roughly 4,000 acres, or 3.7% of the County’s total land area.
Also, over 75% of properties purchased by the Land Bank were already in preferred tax categories. For example, 1,575-acre Turtleback Mountain was in Designated Forest Land (DFL) and the previous owners paid less than $1,000/year in property taxes.