Council holding special meeting for Hawaiʻi Countyʻs proposed $794.3 million FY 2023-24 budget

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The Hawai‘i County Council will take up first reading of the proposed $794.3 million fiscal year 2023-24 budget during a special meeting at 9 a.m. on Thursday at the County Building in Hilo.

The Council held a public hearing about the proposed budget on Tuesday.

In March, Roth proposed a a $794,316,957 spending plan, which is a 1.1 percent increase from the previous fiscal year. The new operating budget proposal calls for an estimated $831,663,759 in revenues and appropriations, an increase of 5.8 percent from fiscal year 2022-23.

The budget is receiving a boost from estimated revenue increases in real property taxes, the general fund and the general excise tax fund.


“Once the real property tax revenues were finalized, we were able to fund many critical projects focusing on the health and safety of our community and our employees,” Roth told the Council in a May 5 budget message.

The revised amount of real property taxes the County now expects to collect during the next fiscal year is $450.35 million, up $19 million from a previous estimate, according to Roth’s updated budget request. The increase is primarily because of changes in valuations and lower than expected appeals.

Revenue projections also increased $6.29 million for the general fund balance and $10.6 million for the general excise tax fund balance from the previous year.

The mayor’s revised budget request adds funds for more water safety officers at Kohanaiki Beach Park in Kona, rescue equipment for the Hawai‘i Police Department and Hawai‘i Fire Department, and additional positions for the county prosecutor’s office. Funding also was increased for the fire dispatch program and homelessness programs and services.


The County’s parks and recreation facilities will get a slice of the pie in the form of more money for repairs, additional security and an increase to the West Hawai‘i Golf Subsidy. Funds were added for the purchase of clean energy vehicles to be shared by county departments, essential services and equipment for the Wastewater and Solid Waste divisions, and an environmental impact statement for a new sewer pipeline in the Kahalu‘u area in Kona.

Roth also calls for an additional 56 new positions for several departments in the amended budget proposal: “Providing adequate staffing resources reduces burnout and allows for greater efficiency and more innovative solutions.”

Fostering a healthy, safe and thriving community remains the mayor and his administration’s top priority. The mayor’s office says the amended budget provides the necessary resources to support those values.

The Council also is asking for a couple of changes to the proposed spending plan, seeking an increase of $35,000 for the general fund balance and an additional $35,000 for a new Dispatch Quality Assurance Program line item in the Fire Auxiliary Services OCE, Miscellaneous Contract Services expense account.


Furthermore, Roth updated his proposed capital budget plan for fiscal year 2023-24 and the capital improvements program for the next six years. The new capital spending plan seeks $358.53 million and the capital improvements program now includes 47 projects. That’s an increase of about $13.05 million and three additional projects compared to the nearly $345.48 million for 44 projects proposed in March.

Funds in the capital budget can be used for land acquisition; infrastructure improvements; new buildings or building additions; nonrecurring upgrades or expansion of infrastructure and buildings; planning, feasibility, engineering or design studies related to capital improvement projects; and information and communications technology infrastructure.

To read the latest operating budget proposal, click here. You can find the updated capital budget here.

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