Opinion Letter No. 01-02
April 12, 2001
Real Property Tax Information Made Confidential by Ordinance
The Office of Information Practices' Opinion Letter
No. 01-02 addressed a proposed bill for an
ordinance to make certain tax assessment records of the City and
County of Honolulu confidential.
Ordinances that make records confidential are not recognized under
the legislative policy established
by the Uniform Information Practices Act (Modified), chapter 92F,
Hawaii Revised Statues ("UIPA").
Thus, an ordinance to make records confidential would be effective
only to the extent that it was
consistent with the UIPA.
Records that fall within the categories of public records set forth
in section 92F-12, Hawaii Revised
Statutes, including "real property tax information," must
be disclosed without exception. Records that
are not within the categories subject to mandatory public disclosure
are presumed to be public, but
may be shown to fall within an exception to public disclosure under
section 92F-13, Hawaii Revised
Should an agency believe that a record not subject to mandatory
disclosure falls within an exception to
disclosure, the agency has the legal responsibility to justify non-disclosure
of those records.