Mayor Roth proposes $794.3 million operating budget for Hawai’i County

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Mayor Mitch Roth today delivered his proposed $794.3 million operating budget for fiscal year 2023-2024 — a 1.1% increase from last year — to the Hawaiʻi County Council at the Council chambers in Hilo.

The fiscal year begins on July 1, 2023 and ends on June 30, 2024. 

In his message to the Council, Roth said revenue is projected to increase in several key areas, including $10.7 million in real property tax, $10 million in General Exercise Tax surcharge and $5 million in the Hawaiʻi County transient accommodations tax.

Hawaiʻi County “Revenues by Source” in Mayor Mitch Roth’s proposed budget for FY 2023-2024.

He also said the budget proposes increased expenditures, mainly due to collective bargaining and uncontrollable cost increases.

“The budget reflects our administration’s commitment to maintaining crucial services while making significant investments in long-overdue infrastructure maintenance projects essential to preserving Hawai’i Island’s natural and cultural resources,” Roth said in a statement. “The investments are crucial to creating a sustainable Hawaiʻi Island, where future generations can thrive and succeed.”

Hawaiʻi County “Expenditures by Function” in Mayor Mitch Roth’s proposed budget for FY 2023-2024.

According to Roth, the budget drafting process is “similar to feeding 100 people with a pizza that has only 12 slices, and everyone is asking for a whole slice.”

Roth explained some of his priorities during his March 13 State of the Count address.

The budget places a significant emphasis on infrastructure and maintenance projects, including the Hilo Wastewater Treatment Plant. The Mayor emphasized that without immediate action, the county could face “a situation like the Red Hill crisis or worse.”

The budget also includes an increase in the parks maintenance budget from roughly $450,000 in 2020 to more than $2 million in FY 23-24, taking into account the park facilities’ importance to the community’s health.


In his message, Roth also highlighted funding for homelessness and housing production, an upgraded police fleet, bolstering paving miles to improve roads, improving public transportation and updated County information technology systems that will ultimately improve services across the board for all constituents.

Roth said investing in the county’s employees is essential for providing quality services to the public. The budget includes funding for enhanced training opportunities for all departments and education funding to support employees in advancing their knowledge and skill sets.

Hawaiʻi County “Operating Budget by Fund” in Mayor Mitch Roth’s proposed budget for FY 2023-2024.

The administration also is pursing innovation through public-private partnerships and exploratory research and development to ensure the sustainability of the island home, including forging partnerships with university systems to save millions of taxpayer dollars in the planning phase of an all-encompassing wastewater master plan for the entire island, Roth said in the letter.

The proposed operating budget for FY 2023-2024 can be seen by clicking here. And the proposed $345.5 million capital budget for FY 2023-24, which was submitted to the County Council on March 1 can be seen by clicking here.


To review the current FY 2022-2023 operating budget of $786 million, click here. To review the current FY 2022-2023 capital budget of $478.2 million, click here.

For County archived budgets through fiscal year 2021-2022, click here.

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