The mayor presents a proposed budget of $1.045 billion to the Maui City Council
Maui Mayor Michael Victorino presented his proposed $1.045 billion budget to Maui County Council on Thursday. This represents an increase of $206.1 million over fiscal 2022, or a 23.9% increase.
Fiscal 2023 revenue will fund a proposed operating budget of $794 million (an increase of $110.8 million or 16.2%); and a $251 million capital improvement budget.
He said the proposed budget will retain all necessary district services.
“To support hard-working families,” Mayor Victorino said, proposing adjustments to the tax rate for owner-occupied property and adjustments to property tax rates for other classifications.
Once again, $10 million will be allocated for nationwide expenses, particularly for recovery and relief efforts for COVID-19 and other unforeseen events. He also proposed an increase in the emergency fund, targeting a $3.4 million allocation to mitigate and respond to emergencies without impacting funding or other services.
Highlights include the following:
- $2.94 million for the Affordable Housing Fund
- $1 Million First-Time Homebuyer Program – The program provides up to $30,000 in down payment assistance for new homeowners.
- $1.5 million for feasibility studies on county-owned land to determine infrastructure needs for achievable housing.
- $1 million to start work on the Imi Kala St. expansion – a key element in the future development of accessible housing.
- $2 million to rehabilitate culverts and drainage on Waiʻale Road to create future accessible housing in Wailuku.
Culture and Art:
- $43 million in general debentures for Hālau by ʻŌiwi Art to promote the art of hula and other cultural practices.
- $200,000 in support of Hālau Keʻalaokamaile’s capital campaign.
- $150,000 to the Kaʻahumanu Church in Wailuku to help restore the deteriorating structure.
- $150,000 to the Bailey House Museum in support of restoration work.
Parks and Recreation Facilities:
- $10 million War Memorial Gym – repairs to structure, replacement of floors and bleachers, installation of air conditioning.
- $7.2 million War Memorial Stadium.
- Funds requested to evaluate the acquisition of 52 acres to create a new Pulelehua County Park.
- $33.1 million for road improvements – including the design for the reconstruction of Lower Main Street, Lahainaluna Road, South Kīhei Road and Makawao Ave.; Construction of Lower Kula Road and Pukalani Terrace subdivision; and improvements to Kamehameha and Wākea avenues.
- $5 million for water transmission improvements in Upper Kula.
- $5 million to expand recycled water in West Maui.
- $3.1 million for process expansion at R-1 Wastewater Reclamation Plant in Lahaina.
- Improved training and appropriate equipment for firefighters, police officers, marine safety officers and emergency management personnel.
Climate change, resilience, sustainability:
- $1.3 million to implement recommendations from various climate change, resilience and sustainability studies and plans.
The proposed operating budget provides for a total of 157 expansion sites from all sources and means. Mayor Victorino noted, “Our departments have done more with less while being creative to meet the needs of our community.” The budget proposes 36.5 equivalent employees to expand services at the county’s beach parks.
With the impact of COVID-19, Mayor Victorino said it was “more important than ever” to diversify the economy. This includes a commitment to support diversified agriculture through a $1.5 million micro-grant program, $450,000 for Kula Agricultural Park and $1 million for Lānaʻi Agricultural Park.
Mayor Victorino noted that the budget also includes $1.3 million for agricultural advancement and technology in support of the Maui Farm Bureau, Farmers Union United and Hawaiʻi Taro Farm, LLC.
“I firmly believe that with responsible planning and the right investments, together we can restore essential services today while laying the foundation for a healthy, thriving community for generations to come,” he said in a letter to the council.