Council to vote on property tax rates Tuesday

LIHU‘E — This Tuesday, the Kaua‘i County Council will make its final decision on proposed property tax increases for several tax classes.

Last Thursday, the council began its final four days of massaging the mayor’s budget for Fiscal Year 2013 and  pushed a final vote to Tuesday, its last day of budget deliberations.

With a proposal from Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. on hand to raise tax rates for single-family residential and hotel and resort classes, the council will likely be faced with a tax-relief amendment for homesteaders that Councilman Tim Bynum said he will introduce.

“I believe resident-homeowners deserve some relief,” Bynum said.

In the last three years, tax collections for the homestead class — made up of resident homeowners — rose at least $3.1 million more, Bynum said.

On May 8, Carvalho submitted his supplemental budget for FY 2013, reflecting an increase of $4.11 million in operational expenses and $2.56 million in capital improvement projects over his March 15 budget submittal.

The mayor is allowed to send a second proposal each year after the council spends almost two months scrutinizing the mayor’s budget proposal. Kaua‘i is the only county in the state that allows a second budget submittal, and the council is working on a proposal to end the practice.

Bynum pointed out the additional millions of dollars in Carvalho’s second submittal, and said if the county can afford the increase in capital projects, then it can afford $1.9 million in tax relief to resident homeowners.

Councilman Mel Rapozo said if Bynum proposes a reduction in tax collections, he will need to find another source of revenue to replace the funds.

Bynum said the source would be the county’s reserve fund, which currently carries a balance of some $25 million. By resolution, the fund is intended to be used for non-recurring costs and has additional restrictions on how it can be used, which can include up to 25 percent of the fund being used for budgetary stabilization.

By no later than 3 p.m. on Tuesday, the council is supposed to begin final deliberations on the budget, and be done by 4:30 p.m.

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• Léo Azambuja, staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 252) or lazambuja@


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