Council Unanimously Approves $705.2 Million Budget
The Maui County Council unanimously approved, by a vote of 8-0, a $705.2 million budget for fiscal year 2018.
Budget and Finance Committee Chair Riki Hokama said the process was far from easy, citing a lack of fiscal leadership from the State legislature, which again kept more of the counties’ transient accommodations tax collections this year.
“Raiding the counties’ share of revenue is not a solution to balancing the State’s budget. It is short-sighted and requires the counties to either raise taxes or reduce expenditures,” said Hokama.
He said increases in collective bargaining, health premiums, and retirement system costs will continue to pose an obstacle to balancing future budgets.
“Other counties have been forced to reduce employees and services, but our county has been able to rise to the challenge because of many years of fiscal discipline,” said Hokama.
“I applaud the work of the council in crafting a budget that is fiscally responsible and will help to move our county forward. Fiscal challenges are looming in coming years as costs continue to rise, and we must take steps to meet these obligations,” said Council Chair Mike White.
Hokama said the council was forced to make strategic adjustments to taxes and fees, but the budget will maintain the county’s strong financial position and fund core services.
Budget highlights include:
- $15.1 million in road, bridge and drainage projects – a top priority, as identified by residents
- $25 million for a new county service center at the Maui Business Park Phase II in Kahului
- $4.3 million in construction funds for parking expansion and office space to assist in the revitalization of Wailuku town
- Keeping the Waiehu Municipal Golf Course open
- $4.6 million to address issues including watershed management, and eradication of coqui frogs, miconia, rat lungworm disease, and other threats to our environment
- $1.2 million for the expansion of Kula Agricultural Park and related water infrastructure improvements
- $6.7 million in capital improvements to county park facilities
- Over $34.8 million in capital improvement projects to improve the county’s water and wastewater infrastructure.
The new fiscal year begins on July 1.