Mayor Kim Releases Budget Proposal of $573 Million
Twenty new police officer positions in Ka‘u and Puna are a top priority in the $573,538,123 proposed County budget released Friday by Mayor Harry Kim.
The budget is 10.7% larger than last fiscal year, adding $55,533,138 to increase police staffing and supervisory positions and replace aging buses in the Mass Transit system. The budget also includes body cameras for police officers as “vital to improving the safety of our community and officers.”
The proposal includes $26.1 million in additional salaries, wages and employee benefit expenses, including new positions to maintain parks and two additional examiners to relieve the backlog in building permits.
The proposal’s revenues include real property tax increases of about $15.7 million or 5%. Fuel tax will increase by $6.1 million as the last rate increase becomes effective. The general excise tax is expected to generate $25 million. The new short-term vacation rental registration fees and fines are expected to garner about $846,000 in the coming year. Increases in sewer fees and tipping fees are expected to generate an additional $2.8 million.
No additional funding is included in the proposal to help the homeless. Funding received from the Governor’s office to create an additional shelter is believed to be adequate.