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Honolulu mayor's $4.5B budget proposals include $300 homeowner tax credit

rick blangiardi andy kawano 030323
Casey Harlow
Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi and Andy Kawano, the director of the Department of Budget and Fiscal Services on the left, at a budget press conference on March 3, 2023.

Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi submitted his administration's proposed $4.5 billion operating and capital improvement budgets for the fiscal year 2024 to the Honolulu City Council on Thursday.

Included in the overall package is a one-time $300 property tax credit for qualifying homeowners on Oʻahu. The city estimates it will help nearly 152,000 homeowners, amounting to about $45.5 million.

Homeowners receiving an exemption from the city will qualify for the credit.

"A tax credit of $300 equates to an additional one-time homeowners exemption of about $86,000. I'm rounding that up a little. That's huge, you know, homeowners under 65 receive an exemption of $100,000. The other good part about it, and we've gone through a lot of discussion, the exemption was kept flat for all homeowners because we want it to benefit the homeowners with the lower valued homes," said Andy Kawano, the director of the Department of Budget and Fiscal Services.

Nearly a quarter of the $3.4 billion operating budget covers benefits like retirement and health care for city employees.

The broad public safety category, including police and emergency services, comprises 17% of the budget at $591 million. Public transportation, including the Honolulu rail, makes up about 12% at $411.3 million.

On homelessness, more than $10 million will go to continuing the Housing First initiative.

About $100 million of the $1.09 billion capital improvement program budget is for land and property acquisition for affordable housing — with an additional $14 million for other affordable housing programs.

The capital improvement budget also has $506 million for wastewater and global consent decree projects.

"This budget is reflective of our sense of priority in where best to invest in the future of Oʻahu and its people," Blangiardi said in a statement.

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