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Posted on: March 25, 2021

Mayor Victorino presents fiscal 2022 budget proposal

Mayor Michael Victorino presented his administration’s Fiscal Year 2022 budget to members of the Maui County Council today, proposing to ease the financial burden on taxpayers while continuing to respond to the COVID-19 crisis.

“Our longtime fiscally conservative policies continue to position the County well. We are able to face the economic hardship of the global pandemic that will continue to linger in the weeks and months ahead,” said Mayor VIctorino. “Thanks to my administration,previous administrations and our partners in the Maui County Council, we continue to enjoy a very high bond rating: AA+. Working together, we have consistently spent taxpayer dollars wisely to meet current and future needs. While keeping eye on the future, we have planned diligently for the needs of today.”

The proposed budget totals $828.9 million, including $669.6 million for operations and $159.3 million in capital improvement projects. Key highlights include:

  • A decrease in projected operation costs by $13.2 million over FY 2021
  • $159.3 million in capital improvement projects to serve the needs of our community and to keep our construction industry working

Mayor Victorino cautioned that uncertainties of COVID-19’s economic impacts may still make it necessary to withhold funding or to make adjustments going forward. Specific proposals include:

  • Minimal increases for sewer fees to address the needs of our wastewater system and to continue expansion of R-1 water use
  • A decrease in the real property tax rate for owner-occupied residences below $1.5 million of assessed value and a decrease in all tiers of short-term rental classifications
  • A decrease in the minimum real property tax from $400 to $350
  • $10 million in Countywide costs to continue assistance programs to help mitigate impacts of COVID-19
  • $3 million in the recently tapped Emergency Fund to position Maui County for future emergencies

Mayor Victorino’s proposed budget provisions include support for development of attainable housing for County residents including:

  • An increase from 3 to 4 percent of real property tax revenue ($14.9 million), allocated for the Affordable Housing Fund
  • $1 million allocated to the Home Acquisition and Ownership Program
  • Funding for several affordable housing projects including the Lanai Affordable Housing project: Kaiaulu o Halelea, Hale o Piikea II in Kihei, and the Waiehu Apartments

Mayor Victorino also requested Councilmembers to consider $24 million for the Department of Parks and Recreation for these facilities:

  • Lanai Youth Center and Skate Park
  • Renovations for the War Memorial Gym and Velma McWayne Santos Community Center
  • Improvements for the Paia Gym
  • Renovations to the Lahaina Civic Center and tennis court restrooms
  • Playground improvements to Honokowai Park and Napili Park

For infrastructure improvements, the mayor is seeking $40.3 million in road improvements, $45.4 million in sewer improvements, $1.8 million in sanitation improvements, and $23.4 million in water system improvements. Some specifics include:

  • Expansion of the Central Maui Landfill
  • Expansion of West Maui’s recycled water system
  • Countywide road resurfacing and pavement preservation
  • Repair for eroding slopes in Haiku and Kahukuloa, and Countywide traffic and safety improvements including the Kalepa Rockwall repair and the West Maui Reliable Capacity project

Mayor Victorino is also proposing spending $1 million to implement climate action projects and programs for Maui County departments. 

“We must take action on climate change,” he said. “To manage this effort, my office will coordinate climate action to ensure the County’s resiliency.”

To promote cultural perpetuation, the mayor is proposing grant funding for the Maui Arts & Cultural Center, Maui Film Festival and support for a Cultural Resource Training enter to perpetuate traditional Hawaiian research and education.

“Investing in arts, culture and recreational facilities yields a double return on investment by generating economic activity while contributing to our quality of life,” the mayor remarked.

“I look forward working with the Council during the upcoming budget process. We share the same desire to ensure the needs of our citizens are met, now and in the future. Our partnership will lead Maui County of recent dark days into a brighter tomorrow,” concluded Mayor Victorino.

Maui County Council members will now review and deliberate the administration’s budget proposal. The fiscal year 2022 budget goes into effect July 1, 2021.

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