Council panel shuffles cuts and spending in budget
The City Council's Budget Committee cut several of Mayor Mufi Hannemann's initiatives to make room for property tax cuts in a proposed $1.6 billion operating budget for next fiscal year.
"It's a focus on what do we need to operate the city government," said committee Chairman Todd Apo. "I'm trying to strike that balance between providing some additional protection and relief to homeowners while also providing some broad-based tax relief for all parcels."
» Lowered the one-time tax credit for homeowner-occupants to $200 from $376.
» Reduced by half the $60 million the city administration wanted to save for future retirement benefits.
» Approved $5 million to add to the city's rainy day fund. The administration wanted an additional $10 million.
» Either cut or put limits on 47 new positions requested for new agencies that will plan for the city's mass transit system.
» Cut more than $2 million in salaries for vacant positions.
"I think it's finding the funding that the city needs without providing more of a cushion than is necessary," Apo said, adding that the dollar amount for tax cuts is still being calculated.
The committee also moved forward a bill for a one-time credit for low-income renters, but Apo continued to express concern about the credit, which will cost $11 million. "I'm still not convinced that this is the way to help our renters' situation," he said.
A public hearing on the budget is scheduled for April 25.