New analysis: What’s the real cost of Maui’s proposed Charter amendments?
October 4, 2022, 4:36 PM HST
* Updated October 4, 5:14 PM
A newly released financial impact analysis of proposed Maui Charter amendments shows the county would face $2 million in additional annual financial impacts for an amendment proposal related to the creation of a separate Housing Department dedicated to affordable housing.
The proposed amendment would support dividing the Department of Housing & Human Concerns into two separate departments, each with its own director. The amendment would also create a new Housing Advisory Board, and create a new position within the department that is tasked with acting as a liaison with the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.
Another charter amendment proposal relating to the creation of a new County Department of ʻŌiwi Resources, known as Proposal 2, would result in $400,000 in additional financial impacts yearly to the County of Maui, according to the Auditor’s analysis.
In addition to the creation of the ʻŌiwi Resources department, the amendment also affirms that the County would operate as a bilingual (Hawaiian and English) government.
Maui County voters can study the nine proposed Maui County Charter amendments and two alternatives in the Maui County Charter Commission 2022 Voter Guide, now available online.
Two additional amendment proposals by the Maui County Council are included in the analysis, including a proposal related to Maui County Community Water Authorities, the cost of which is unknown, according to the report.
All other charter amendment proposals on the list are estimated to incur costs of less than $100,000 each annually, according to the report, including four that would cost less than $25,000.
“Exhibit l” (below) is the County Auditor’s independent evaluation of the potential financial impacts of each proposed Charter amendment.
“I feel the easy-to-read layout of Exhibit 1 may aid Maui County voters in their decision-making process regarding County operations and services,” said County Auditor Lance Taguchi in a letter to Mayor Michael Victorino, dated Oct. 4, 2022.
“This evaluation is not an audit and purposely does not include conclusions and explanatory language within Exhibit 1 in order to avoid any perception that my Office is advocating for or against any of the proposed Charter amendments,” Taguchi said.
Taguchi called the format “less than ideal,” but said it is “intended to avoid the loss of public trust, the possible violation of campaign finance laws, and the use of government funds to advocate for or against a ballot initiative.”
Financial Impact Analysis of Proposed Charter Amendments to the Maui County Charter on the 2022 General Election Ballot
Office of the County Auditor’s Disclaimer: This independent evaluation of financial impacts of proposed amendments to the Maui County Charter does not advocate for or against certain outcomes. This evaluation does not reflect the full text of amendments which can be reviewed at www.mauicounty.gov/charteramendments. Financial projections use figures from unaudited sections of Maui County’s fiscal year budget documents. As with any projection, past performance does not guarantee future results. Environmental, social, and governance impacts are not readily measurable for this evaluation and, therefore, were not considered.