This past week, the Council’s Budget Committee held its first round of hearings on the following administration proposals to increase tax revenues for the FY 18 budget cycle:
- Bill 10 – Motor Vehicle Weight Tax (increases of $.01 per pound in 2018 and 2019)
- Bill 12 – Parking Meters (enables City to adjust parking meter time limits and rates in accordance with supply and demand)
- Bill 28 – Public Transit (enables the City to amend the fare structure of TheBus and TheHandiVan, increasing by roughly $10 per month for adult passengers)
- Bill 29 – Collection and Disposal of Refuse (authorizing the City to charge for city-provided refuse collection services, increasing by roughly $10 per month for the basic package of collection – 1 refuse cart, 1 mixed recyclables and 1 green waste cart) • Bill 35 – Admission fees for the Honolulu Zoo
- Bill 36 – Municipal golf fees
Most complaints that I received since the City’s tax measures were introduced were in opposition to Bill 29, and were raised primarily by senior citizens and those on fixed incomes. Several residents also pointed out that illegal dumping – which is already a big problem in older neighborhoods like Kalihi Valley, Liliha and Kamehameha Heights, Pacific Heights and Punchbowl-Tantalus – would likely increase among those unwilling to pay the monthly fees.
Fortunately, Budget Committee members agreed with my constituents, and Bill 29 was deferred in committee. Other tax measures that are likely to draw opposition include Bill 10 (Motor Vehicle Weight Tax), particularly from commercial transportation carriers, Bill 28 (Public Transit) from seniors and disabled/handicapped passengers and Bill 31 (raising property tax rates on hotels and resort properties).
Please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 768-5006 if you have specific concerns about particular tax measures so that your views can be taken into consideration before the Council’s final actions on these measures!