Maui Mayor Michael Victorino unveiled his first budget proposal yesterday, listing affordable housing, infrastructure and the environment as top priorities for the county in the next fiscal year.
The mayor’s proposed $869.5 million budget for fiscal 2020 includes revolving and special funds, grants and other revenues. The plan amounts to less than that submitted last year by his precedessor, Alan Arakawa, he said.
The proposed operating budget counting only county funds amounts to nearly $781 million, or a 3 percent increase compared to that which the council approved last year.
Other priorities include paying for health and retirement benefits for current and former county employees, and expanding county services.
Victorino is proposing "nominal increases" in four property tax classifications and a decrease of 9.6 percent, or $1.48, for timeshare units. The hikes would cover commercial property, up by 14 cents per $1,000 valuation; industrial property, up by 3 cents per thousand; hotel and resort property, an increase of 23 cents per thousand; and short-term rental property, up by 27 cents per thousand.
The mayor is also calling for increases in various fees and rates:
- Solid waste landfill tipping fees would rise from $97 per ton to $103 per ton.
- Residential refuse collection would increase by a dollar from $32 to $33 per month.
- Wastewater-sewer fees would go up an average of 6 percent.
- Water services would increase an average of 3 percent.
- Biodiesel fuel taxes would increase to 12 cents per gallon (In fiscal year 2019, a highway improvement fee was imposed on electric and hybrid vehicles.)
"So I want fairness all around," the mayor said.
Among the major capital improvement project spending he is proposing is $11 million for the West Maui recycled water system expansion, $5.7 million for countywide road resurfacing and pavement preservation and $2.75 million for War Memorial Complex paving improvements.
The mayor's budget plan is subject to review by the County Council.
"I am looking forward to working with the Council, as well as the departments," the mayor said. "My whole thing is, don’t come for the sky. Let’s be realistic. Let’s work together. And my statement to all of you has always been, and always will be, what can you live with, and what can you live without."