Mayor signs $1.07 billion budget into law; includes funds for affordable housing
Mayor Richard Bissen signed into law a $1.07 billion Fiscal Year 2024 budget that provides for a decrease in tax rates for owner-occupied homes assessed at $3 million or less, increased funding for affordable housing and $184 million in capital projects and infrastructure for Maui County.
The budget bill was signed into law two days after it was unanimously passed by the Maui County Council on June 6.
“Following the council’s approval, I am signing this bill into law that values our islands’ precious resources, improves the lives of residents and reflects our responsibility for the safety and overall well-being of our people. The budget is a critical tool to our most important outcome – the state of our people,” said Mayor Bissen in a news release.
The budget funds the county Affordable Housing Fund with 8% of certified real property tax revenue, estimated at $43 million and an increase over the 3% mandated funding. The budget includes an additional $28.9 million for the emergency or “rainy day” fund.
Also funded was over $20 million in post-employment obligations, which is aimed at reducing the county’s liability and enhancing its status with credit rating agencies for future bond ratings.
Capital and infrastructure projects include War Memorial Gym building improvements, the Lahaina Civic Center rehabilitation, police radio upgrades, expansion of the Kula Agricultural Park and countywide road resurfacing.
The mayor thanked Council Budget Chair Yuki Lei Sugimura and council members for their work in reviewing the budget, which covers the fiscal year from July 1, 2023 to June 30, 2024.
“I’m grateful to my team for the hard work that went into the Fiscal Year 2024 budget and for the Council’s many months of review and deliberation,” Mayor Bissen said. “Under the leadership of Budget Chair Yuki Lei Sugimura and the long hours Council members dedicated to the process, we’re giving our islands a responsible budget. By working together as leaders in our county, we are able to reach this important day that will deliver crucial services and benefits to our islands.