Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Received, Council Review Begins
With the mayor’s version of the fiscal year 2017 budget now in hand, the Council’s Budget and Finance Committee now begins their review. The committee will host evening meetings throughout Maui County in April to receive community input, committee chair Riki Hokama announced.
In a statement issued last night, Committee Chair Riki Hokama said he can “appreciate the mayor’s optimism that counties will get a greater share of the Transient Accommodations Tax revenues this year,” however, he said, legislators are proposing a cap on the county’s share at $23 million. Hokama said, “If the counties don’t get a greater share, the burden of looking for other revenue sources or cutting programs to balance the budget will fall on the council.
Hokama said the mayor “assumes increased revenues as a result of higher real property valuations, increased rates for various county services, fuel tax increases and transient accommodations tax revenues of $36.9 million.” The TAT is a tax collected when a guest stays in a hotel or other accommodation for less than 180 days.
Other highlights from the proposal include:
- 45.8 expansion positions for various departments.
- Moving the county’s Ocean Safety Division from the Department of Parks and Recreation to the Department of Fire and Public Safety.
- $29.6 million in grant subsidies – a 12.6-percent increase for nonprofit agencies.
- $147.9 million in capital improvement projects, which include road repairs and improvements, water supply and wastewater infrastructure improvements, new parks facilities, equipment purchases and facility maintenance.
- Increases in water and wastewater rates, solid waste tipping fees, residential trash collection fees and fuel tax.
“The mayor noted the county’s rebound from the recession and increased property valuations, visitor arrivals and hotel revenues in formulating his proposed budget,” Hokama said. “As we get into the details of the 900-page proposal, we will look closely at the county’s core requirements and the community’s ability to pay.
“Over the last few years, the mayor has left the task of reining in the county’s spending to the council, and the council has responded by reducing proposed double-digit increases to a more sustainable level. Once we review the proposal and hear from the departments, the council will be in a better position to know whether that trend will continue.
“I invite all to come to our meetings in the various districts and in the Council Chamber throughout the month of April.”
All district meetings are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m., except for Molokaʻi and Central Maui, which begin at 6:30 p.m. The public is invited to testify.
- Tuesday, April 5, 6 p.m. at Kīhei Community Center, Main Hall, 303 East Līpoa St., Kīhei
- Wednesday, April 6, 6 p.m. at Lahaina Civic Center, Social Hall, 1840 Honoapiʻilani Hwy., Lahaina
- Friday, April 8, 6 p.m. at Lānaʻi Senior Center, 309 7th St., Lānaʻi City
- Monday, April 11, 6:30 p.m. at Mitchell Pauole Center, Main Hall, 90 Ainoa St., Kaunakakai
- Wednesday, April 13, 6 p.m. at Mayor Hannibal Tavares Community Center, Social Hall, 91 Pukalani St., Pukalani
- Thursday, April 14, 6 p.m. at Haʻikū Community Center, Social Hall, Hana Highway and Pilialoha Street (adjacent to Haʻikū Elementary School), Haʻikū
- Monday, April 18, 6 p.m. at Helene Hall, Social Hall, 150 Keawa Pl., Hāna
- Tuesday, April 19, 6:30 p.m. at Lihikai Elementary School, Dining Room, 335 South Papa Ave., Kahului
Written testimony may be emailed to [email protected], referencing BF-1.