Mayor waiting for City Council to approve his balanced budgetUPDATED 7:31 PM HST Feb 28, 2014Video Transcript
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell has a financial hole to fill, and he wants to fill it by raising taxes and fees, and wiping hundreds of city positions off the books! New information tonight on the mayor's proposed budget as we send it over to KITV4's Andrew Pereira ... Andrew? Kenny, some of the mayor's proposals may already be dead in the water. 12 42 The mayor's $2.14 billion operating budget only works if the City Council approves five of his ideas to generate extra money. If not the city is $46.6 million dollars short! KIRK CALDWELL: "I HAVE SUBMITTED A BALANCED BUDGET TO THE COUNCIL. THEIR JOB NOW IS TO PASS A BALANCED BUDGET." The mayor still wants to cash in on bus advertising, which would net $1.5 for the upcoming fiscal year, and $7 million in later years. Caldwell isn't ready to trash his $10 garbage pickup fee to raise $10 million now and $21 million down the line. Charging more for building plan reviews raises another half a million bucks. However the City Council has already rejected bus ads and kicked the garbage fee to the curb. ERNIE MARTIN: "I THINK THE MAYOR WELL KNOWS TO INCLUDE THEM IN AT THIS POINT IS VERY DISINGENUOUS, ONLY BECAUSE THE COUNCIL HAS ALREADY GIVEN INDICATION THAT IT'D BE A VERY TOUGH SELL." KIRK CALDWELL: "FOR SOMEONE TO SAY TWO OR THREE DAYS, EH, WE'LL TAKE SOME CHUCK OUT OF THE BUDGET AND THE MAYOR CAN JUST RECALCULATE THE NUMBER IS ABSOLUTELY INCORRECT, AND THEY DO NOT UNDERSTAND HOW THE PROCESS WORKS." Caldwell also wants to boost the newly created Residential A property tax rate by $2-dollars to $5.50 per $1- thousand dollars on homes worth a million dollars or more that are NOT occupied by owners. And he's proposing a $1- dollar increase to the Hotel and Resort property tax rate, which brings it to $13.40 per $1- thousand of value. Both measures if passed by the Council will raise more than $34 million... The hotel lobby has already expressed its displeasure. KIRK CALDWELL: "THEY WEREN'T EXCITED ABOUT IT, BUT AT THE SAME TIME I TOLD THEM IF THEY WANT TO SEE MORE IMPROVEMENTS IN WAIKIKI THAT WE NEED TO FIND THE REVENUE TO DO THAT." The mayor is also embarking on a plan to right-size government spearheaded by councilman Ikaika Anderson. That involves deactivating 618 city positions and moving money from a salary provisional account for about $37 million in savings. Meanwhile, the city's unfunded liability for workers' pension and health benefits stands at $1-point-7 billion dollars. The mayor says Honolulu is in a much better position than a city like Detroit because of more money being set aside every year for post-employment benefits, the city's double-A bond rating and the move to downsize government. Yunji?