Mayor Proposes Property Tax, Fee Hikes

City Projects $50 Million Shortfall For Fiscal Year

 UPDATED 4:44 AM HST Mar 02, 2009

Mayor Mufi Hannemann on Monday laid out his budget proposal that would include hikes that will affect nearly everyone on Oahu.

At the top of his proposal was a property tax rate hike. Oahu homeowners can expect to pay 30 cents more per $1,000 of home value would hike the current $3.29/$1,000 to $3.59/$1,000. That will be about $10 more per month for the average homeowner, city officials said.

This comes as home values have slid over the past year. That would have meant a loss of millions of dollars in the city's main revenue stream if property tax rates would be kept the same.

The mayor said in his state of the city address last month that Honolulu County faces a $50 million deficit ending on July 1 fiscal year. Hannemann said next year's fiscal deficit is $177 million.

The mayor proposed fee hikes for several key city services.

The price for an adult fare would climb from $2 to $2.25. The price for a monthly pass for an adult would jump $10 to $50. It would be the first bus price increase in six years.

Earlier, Hannemann said the 5,000 city employees represented by the Hawaii Government Employees Association and United Public Workers union would not get raises. He also said he would deny raises to city managerial employees to save about $700,000.

The mayor said he, 36 department heads and deputy directors will all get 5 percent pay cut by working one day a month without pay. The gesture could save the city $206,000, officials said.

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