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MAYOR CARLISLE POSTS BUDGET PLAN ONLINE FOR PUBLIC REVIEW

(Wed., March 9, 2011)—Mayor Peter Carlisle’s proposed city operating budget for the new fiscal year has been posted online with additional information for public review at http://can-do.honolulu.gov . 

“We welcome everyone to review this important public information about how we plan to utilize public resources,” Carlisle said. “We’re committed to operating with transparency, and we’re calling this project Citizens Analyzing Numbers Discover Opportunity, or ‘Can-Do.’”

The new website allows the public to download raw budget data and to review and sort specific line items in a spreadsheet format, and to provide feedback. The proposed budget of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, the agency that will oversee the City’s rail transit project, is also posted on the site. Personal financial disclosure statements completed by members of Carlisle’s cabinet are posted as well. 

The mayor’s $1.932 billion operating budget would increase spending by 6.3 percent, due largely to rising debt service and the increasing costs of employee benefits and previously negotiated pay increases for bus drivers. Rising energy costs and one-time expenses related to the upcoming APEC meeting are also factors.

The budget assumes a minimum savings of five percent in labor costs across the board, to be determined through collective bargaining. 

The budget is part of a spending plan that would set the real property tax rate for the residential classification at $3.50 per $1,000 of assessed value. The City Council last year consolidated the homeowner and non-homeowner classifications into one classification. The rates for the old classifications were $3.42 and $3.58 respectively.

Carlisle has proposed no changes to other property tax rates. Officials expect the total Fiscal Year 2012 real property tax revenue collected by the City, $796.5 million, to be slightly lower than Fiscal Year 2011.  

The budget and tax rates are subject to Council review, revision and approval. Under the City Charter, the Council must adopt a budget by June 15.

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Media contact: Louise Kim McCoy, Mayor’s Office, 768-7798.