Council committee approves $604M Maui budget


WAILUKU, Maui — A council committee has approved a $604 million budget for Maui County, and it’s $18.5 million lower than the one Mayor Alan Arakawa proposed.

The budget and finance committee was expected to meet Monday morning for final budget approval, The Maui News reported.

The budget reduces real property taxes by 3.1 percent and includes a minimum funding increase of 3 percent for most nonprofit organizations.

“The vote reaffirms the committee’s desire to provide much-needed tax relief and leave more money in the pockets of residents and businesses,” Committee Chairman Mike White said of Saturday’s vote. “At the same time, the budget maintains the safety net provided to the public by Maui’s nonprofit partners.”

The budget includes reduced water rates and fees. The mayor proposed increases in tipping and refuse fees, but the committee left them at fiscal year 2014 levels.

Arakawa previously called for an approximately 6.5 percent across-the-board increase in property tax rates if state lawmakers didn’t remove a $93 million cap on the counties’ share of transient accommodations taxes. When legislators kept the cap in place but raised it to $10 million, Arakawa responded by saying that property taxes should remain flat.

Once the budget passes out of committee, it will go undergo two readings before the full council. The first reading is tentatively scheduled for May 27.