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(Wed., June 9, 2010) --- Mayor Mufi Hannemann said today he was pleased with the Honolulu City Council’s 9-0 vote approving the City’s operating budget.

“This year was certainly a challenging one, but we were able to meet the challenge by working collaboratively with the city council,” Hannemann said. “In particular I want to commend Council Chair Todd Apo, Budget Committee Chair Nestor Garcia and Councilmembers Okino, Tam, Dela Cruz and Anderson for meeting with me and members of my administration on numerous occasions to reach agreement on the various issues that were raised.  The bottom line is we were able to reach agreement to address their concerns while at the same time making sure that the City will be able to provide the services our residents and visitors have come to expect.”

The operating budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1st  totals $1.8 billion dollars and is only one per cent higher than the current year plan.

“We worked very hard to hold the line on spending,” Hannemann said.  “And even though some of the City’s costs have increased significantly, we will be able to protect public health and safety, make prudent improvements to our infrastructure, and invest in our future.”

Hannemann said he was pleased that the council approved dividing the residential property tax classification in two.

“The Council wanted a lower rate in the non-homeowner class than we initially proposed, and in the spirit of cooperation and collaboration, we were satisfied with that compromise,”  Hannemann said.

The spending plan sets the real property tax rate for the newly created Non-Homeowner classification at $3.57 per $1,000 of assessed value.

The change for an owner of a typical single-family home in the Non-Homeowner classification is expected to be 25 cents more per month. A change of 13 cents more per month is expected for the owner of a typical condominium in this classification.

The Homeowner rate would remain $3.42 per $1,000 of assessed value.  Valuations are lower for the next tax year, which means most residential property owners will see lower tax bills.