Roth proposes tax cuts in final budget proposal
If approved by the county council, Hawai’i County Mayor Mitch Roth’s final budget for the next fiscal year would cut taxes for nearly every property tax category.
Roth presented his final budget on Thursday afternoon, May 5, to Council. The proposed budget reflects an increase of $89.8 million from its proposed budget presented in March.
The increase is due to grant revenue and includes funds to address some of Roth’s priority initiatives such as affordable housing, sustainability and homelessness. Other reasons for the increase include employee benefits and a drastic rise in utility costs.
“We have seen our residents and businesses on the island struggle through the pandemic, and we are committed to doing everything we can to ensure they bounce back stronger than ever,” Roth said in a press release. “Our communities have been more resilient thanks to the work of our small businesses, which have never faltered, and offering them a small property tax reduction in the coming year is the least we can do for them. help recover the costs of a difficult situation. two years. We hope the Council will accept our suggested rates and join us in uplifting those who have uplifted us.
The proposed tax rate changes reflect an almost across-the-board reduction. Roth’s final budget includes the following changes in each tax class, in $1,000 increments:
- Affordable rental: From $6.15 to $6.10.
- Residential: No change proposed.
- Residential Tier Two: $13.60 to $13.50.
- Apartment: From $11.70 to $11.10.
- Commercial: From $10.70 to $10.50.
- Industrial: From $10.70 to $10.50.
- Agriculture: $9.35 to $9.10.
- Conservation: From $11.55 to $11.10.
- Hotel and Resort: From $11.55 to $11.10.
- Owners: From $6.15 to $6.10.
The residential rate is the only rate offered to remain unchanged. This classification consists primarily of second homes and investment properties and includes many short-term vacation rentals.
“In setting these rates, we kept in mind the impact these rate reductions could have on our federal funding,” the mayor’s press release said. “The rate cuts are justified, as they are offset by the increase in land values.”
The proposed budget also includes necessary improvements such as a new engine for the fire department helicopter, the addition of positions to provide better and more responsive services, and improved system reliability and safety. and critical county data. The Roth administration is also committed to innovative solutions, such as converting the county’s fleet to hybrid and clean-energy vehicles, taking over facilities and fleets, and increasing subsidies for recycling.
“This proposed budget represents the best efforts of our departments to meet the needs of our residents in a timely and responsible manner while striving to maintain the level of services our residents deserve,” Roth said in the statement.