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Honolulu Mayor Unveils 2018 Budget and Pitches Rail Transit

Wayne Yoshioka

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell unveiled his 2018 budget today.  He is proposing to raise property taxes for investors and hotels, charge more for trash pickup and increase fuel and vehicle weight taxes.   He says there is no fat in the City’s budget and also took the opportunity to ask state lawmakers to fund the rail transit project.      

“We’re looking at an operating budget of $2.45 billion dollars.  Its higher than last year’s operating budget by 5.1 percent, that equates to a $118 million dollar increase.  You know I do want to build rail.  I believe it’s about a city that thrives well after we’re all gone from this place.   And how we do that and be fair and reduce the burden on the taxpayers of this island is through the GET tax extension because one-third is paid by non-residents – visitors, military and others.  And so I’m hoping that the legislature will help us get to where we need to get to make sure we thrive well, well, well into the next generations.”

The City’s construction budget is 956 million dollars.  The proposed spending plan now goes to the City Council for review.

Wayne Yoshioka
Wayne Yoshioka is an award-winning journalist who has worked in television, print and radio in Hawaiʻi. He also has been on both sides of politics as a state departmental appointee and political/government reporter. He covered Hurricane Iwa (1982) as a TV reporter; was the State Department of Defense/Civil Defense spokesperson for Hurricane Iniki (1992); and, commanded a public affairs detachment in Afghanistan (2006). He has a master's degree in Communication from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and is a decorated combat veteran (Legion of Merit, Bronze Star and 22 other commendation/service medals). He resides in Honolulu.
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