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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MAYOR SENDS LEAN 2004 OPERATING BUDGET AND REDUCED CAPITAL BUDGET TO CITY COUNCIL
Mayor Jeremy Harris today sent to the City Council a balanced operating budget and a capital budget for Fiscal Year 2003-2004 that total $1.4669 billion or 6.8% below the combined budgets of the current fiscal year.
The Mayor described the process as “gut-wrenching” and the most difficult budget period in his nine years as Mayor. Department and agency budgets have been brought in $14 million below the current year making them the most austere in memory.
“It’s important to note that we have already cut over $100 million from the department and agency budgets before sending them down to the City Council,” the Mayor said. “The cuts included the unfunding of nearly 1,000 positions to save $32 million. But there will be no layoffs,” he added.
Honolulu remains one of the 10 best managed cities in the United States and continues to hold a “AA” credit rating by the national bond credit rating agencies, making our City one of the top 15% most credit worthy cities in America.
The administration’s FY 2003-2004 capital budget of $288.5 million is $167 million less than this year’s capital budget. It focuses on wastewater collection and treatment systems, road resurfacing and transportation.
Other budget highlights include:
§ A modest increase in property tax rates to increase revenues to $427.2 million, which is $5.5 million less than what was collected in 1994.
§ Apartment owners will receive their third property rate decrease (4.5%) so that they will be now be paying the same tax rate as single-family homeowners.
§ Residential tax rates will increase by 2.7%.
§ Commercial, Industrial, Agricultural, Conservation and Hotel/Resort classes have been paying different rates in the past. They will now pay a unified rate of $10.63 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. However, all these categories will still pay less taxes than they did in FY 1994.
§ A new refuse service program will be initiated this summer that will feature once a week refuse pickup, twice a month curbside recycling and green waste pickup and an optional 3rd day per week refuse pick-up for $8 per month.
|Monday, March 03, 2003|