The Maui News - The Maui County Council gave final approval of a $559 million county budget last week, which includes $471 million for operating expenses and $88 million for capital improvement projects.
Attached to the budget that goes into effect July 1 is an across-the-board, 5 percent hike in water rates as well as various property tax rate increases in most categories.
The budget advances to Mayor Alan Arakawa, who has indicated that he will sign off on the spending plan, said Maui County Spokesman Rod Antone.
During his committee's deliberations, council Budget and Finance Committee Chairman Mike White advocated keeping nonprofit funding flat as well as not creating new job positions in the county. But in the end, the budget contains a 3 percent, across-the-board increase in funding for most nonprofit organizations.
White added that there were some "very spirited discussions," but it was able to put in funding for many road improvements, funds for planning and design for a new Kahului Community Center, and to repair Kalakupua playground in Ha'iku.
Council Chairwoman Gladys Baisa said that the council puts its "heart and soul" into the budget process and said "not everyone gets what they want."
The council established a new monthly bus pass fee for people with physician-certified disabilities. This group will pay $30 a month for fixed-route passes. Currently, disabled riders may pay $45 a month for general boarding passes.
Only those in the residential real property tax classification would not see a tax rate increase. That group usually includes second homes used as rentals. Homeowners will see a 12-cent increase in property tax rates from $2.75 to $2.87 per $1,000 of net taxable assessed valuation. Hotel/resort taxpayers will see the greatest tax rate increase--25 cents more, from $9.15 to $9.40 per $1,000 of net taxable assessed value.
Other increases vary from 5 cents to 20 cents per $1,000.