Video: Tavares FY 2011 Budget – Part 2: CIP Funding, TAT Component, Concluding Statements
By Wendy Osher
[flashvideo file=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbMYwrjqi2Y /] Maui Mayor Charmaine Tavares unveiled her proposed FY 2011 budget today that calls for 12 furlough days, real property tax adjustments and fee increases for some services. The following video is the second part of her address in which she details highlights of her Capital Improvement Project budget, explains potential consequences if TAT revenues are cut, and offers concluding statements on the challenges of balancing the needs and wants of the community with shrinking revenues.
Real Property Tax Adjustment Proposed
The new FY 2011 budget calls for an adjustment to real property taxes, the largest component of the County’s revenue. In FY 201o, real property tax revenue was $233 million, making up 41% of the county’s revenue.
If rates remain at the same level as the current year, Tavares said it would mean a projected revenue decrease of $30 million.
Tavares is proposing an adjustment in tax rates so that $223 million in real property taxes can be generated. “This will be $10 million less than our current year, but will enable the County to preserve necessary revenue and still provide Maui County homeowners with the lowest rates in the State of Hawaii,” said Tavares.
Increase in Fees:
Tavares said that sufficient funds are required to properly operate and maintain systems in order to protect the public health, environment, and the county’s investment in infrastructure.
“We have some proposals in the budget that we still have to talk to the unions about, but it’s things like closing the swimming pools one day a week, closing the landfills one day a week, reducing the hours at the service centers,” said Tavares.
In order to help pay for the expense of operating the Waiehu Municipal Golf course, the Mayor is proposing an increase in golf fees that includes a two dollar increase in weekday rates.
Similar increases are proposed for the county’s bus service to pay for operations and the construction of bus shelters. Tavares said the service costs upwards of $7 million to operate, or about $4 per passenger. Under the proposal, scheduled routes will continue to be a dollar, free routes will now also cost a dollar, and commuter routes will increase from one dollar to two dollars.
CIP Projects total $83 million compared to $101 million in FY2010
The Mayor’s FY 2011 Budget proposal calls for $83 million in CIP projects, $18 million less than the $101 million appropriated for the current fiscal year. There are 72 Capital Improvement Projects included in the proposed budget. Highlights include the following:
- $23 million for water source development, storage and transmission
- $26 million for wastewater improvements, including sewer line, reclamation facilities, and pump stations
- $20 million for a new Kihei Police Station
- $1 million for improvements to the Lahaina Fire Station
- $1 million for improvements to County facilities for access needs
- $1 million for solid waste improvement projects including improvements that will utilize renewable energy
- $10 million for road resurfacing and safety improvements
- $2 million for drainage improvements on Polipoli Road
- $4 million for improvements to the Waiohonu and Kulanihakoi bridges
- $5 million for park improvements
- $1 million for bus shelters
TAT Fight Continues
Maui Mayor Charmaine Tavares travels to the state capitol this afternoon to testify before the Senate in her ongoing efforts to keep Maui County’s portion of the Transient Accommodations Tax (TAT).
Maui County’s share of the TAT or hotel room tax is estimated at $17.5 million for Fiscal Year 2011.
“If we are unsuccessful in convincing the State Legislature to not take away TAT money from the four counties, Maui County’s shortfall will increase from $53 million to over $70 million,” said Tavares.
“The loss would be devastating to public programs and services and cause a rippling negative effect on Maui residents and businesses in the visitor industry,” said Tavares.
Mayor Tavares said the decrease in the county’s budget was a consequence of the downturn in the global economy. “Balancing the needs and wants of our community with shrinking revenues is a considerable challenge and unlike anything the County has ever had to deal with,” said Tavares.