BUDGET CHAIR HOPES TO HOLD ON TO TAT REVENUES
About 200 people showed up for a budget hearing in Lahaina last night, with about 50 of those in attendance, coming forward to testify.
West Maui residents asked for increased funding for road repairs, help to reduce rising property taxes rates, and continued funding for social service agencies that are experiencing an increase in clientele amid a downturn in the economy.
During the hearing, Budget Chair Joe Pontanilla urged those seeking county funds to testify against a bill that seeks to suspend distribution of the TAT or transient accommodations tax revenues to the counties.Â If measure gained passage, Pontanilla said Maui County would lose $18 million in the first year alone.
“What they are talking about is suspending the transient accommodation tax to Maui County for six years. Â Maui County would stand to lose a lot of money, which in turn would affect non-profits that provide services to our county,” said Pontanilla.
House bill 1744 has since been deferred by the Senate Ways and Means Committee.Â The committee is up against an April 9th deadline for second decking in order for the measure to advance.
The council on Maui meantime, continues its budget hearing schedule with a meeting set for 6 o’clock tonight (Tuesday, March 31, 2009) at the Kihei Community Center and 6:30 tomorrow night (Wednesday, April 1, 2009) at the Mayor Hannibal Tavares Community Center in Pukalani.
Next week, the council committee heads to Hana and Lanai.Â Â The Hana meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, April 6th at Helene Hall.Â And the Lanai meeting is slated to get underway at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 9th at the Lanai High and Elementary School Cafeteria.
(Posted by Wendy OSHER Â© 2009)