Hawai'i State News

Mayor Roth presents 2024-2025 budget to Hawaiʻi County Council

Listen to this Article
3 minutes
Loading Audio... Article will play after ad...
Playing in :00

Mayor Mitch Roth

Mayor Mitch Roth and his administration presented the 2024-2025 budget to the Hawaiʻi County Council on Wednesday morning, focusing on the theme of creating a sustainable Hawaiʻi Island where future generations can thrive and succeed.

The proposed total operating budget of $888,082,546 emphasizes sustainability and growth, with a noteworthy increase in General Fund revenue. This rise in revenue is the result of a combined effort in aggressive grant writing, a robust tourism sector and an improved building process that has significantly reduced the average processing time for single-family homes to between 34-42 days, leading to an increase in the inventory of homes and tax collection.

The administration’s successful grant acquisition efforts have brought in an additional $20 million, with significant contributions from the Office of Housing and Community Development and the Mass Transit Agency. These grants are pivotal in advancing housing initiatives and enhancing connectivity across the island, with a notable increase in the Housing First Voucher Program by $7 million, bringing the total to $30 million.


A relatively substantial part of the budget’s revenue comes from the Transient Accommodation Tax (TAT), which has seen an increase from approximately $19 million pre-county TAT to around $27 million year-to-date. This increase is a testament to the thriving tourism industry and its substantial contribution to the local economy.

In line with the administration’s commitment to fiscal responsibility, the proposed budget maintains a 10.3% fund balance, ensuring a solid bond rating and the ability to invest in areas that enhance the community’s well-being. This balance is a strategic measure to safeguard against unforeseen costs and maintain financial stability. It also helps to ensure money is there to deal with potential natural disasters such as those seen on Maui in 2023.

The budget’s focus extends beyond immediate needs, with a strategic emphasis on reinforcing county operations and preparing for the future. Investments in infrastructure maintenance, such as repairs to the Civic Auditorium in Hilo, re-grassing of Billy Kenoi Park in Pāhoa, and completion of Puʻu Nui Park and Kamakoa Nui Park in Waikōloa, among other projects, are key to preserving the island’s assets. Additionally, allocating funds for state-of-the-art equipment, including emergency response vehicles and non-spray initiative tools, is crucial for enhancing service efficiency and community safety.


Cybersecurity and digital investments are also a priority, with plans to introduce WiFi in 40 parks facilities across the island to enhance connectivity and promote digital equity. This initiative is part of a broader effort to stay current with technology and protect residents’ information from cyber threats.

The budget aims to provide competitive salaries and opportunities for growth, ensuring that county employees and their families can thrive.

The administration looks toward the potential reduction in real property taxes, which would be a significant consideration in alleviating the financial burden on residents and promoting affordable housing.


“It is an honor to serve this community and work alongside the Council to create a future where our keiki can raise their keiki for generations. We look forward to a constructive discussion as we finalize this budget together,” said Mayor Roth.

Sponsored Content

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay in-the-know with daily or weekly
headlines delivered straight to your inbox.


This comments section is a public community forum for the purpose of free expression. Although Big Island Now encourages respectful communication only, some content may be considered offensive. Please view at your own discretion. View Comments