Upcoming Kauaʻi budget is paying off debts and lowering residential taxes

Ahead of the new county fiscal year in July, and Mayor Derek Kawakami signed the legislation last week.

Key points of the County of Kauaʻi’s $400 million budget are infrastructure, tax relief and paying off debt.

“Our budget allows the County to catch up on long-deferred maintenance, decrease the county’s debt, and ultimately reduce future liabilities that our children must pay,” Kawakami said in a press release.

The county is able to reduce residential real property taxes, after raking in soaring real property tax revenues and supplemental money from the county transient accommodations tax.

“As the cost of living continues to rise, putting more strain on residents, the budget also aims to provide some relief by decreasing the Homestead tax rate by 15% and the Residential tax rate by 10%,” Kawakami said.

More than 90% of the capital improvement’s budget is dedicated to deferred maintenance, solid waste and waste water. Residents will, however, see a slight increase in sewer rates later this calendar year.

“The dialogue between the mayor’s staff and team, our staff, and councilmembers began early in the budget process, allowing for a seamless and collaborative budget process,” Council Chair Mel Rapozo said in a release.

During this budgeting process, Kawakami met with councilmembers to discuss concerns and priorities.

The county’s budget will offer new lifeguard positions and support a new satellite DMV office in Kapaʻa. About $13 million will go to the state Dwelling Unit Revolving Fund to pay debts accumulated with the Lima Ola housing project

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