Mayor Kawakami signs $398 million Kauaʻi county budget for fiscal year 2024
On Friday, Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami signed a $398.4 million Kauaʻi County budget for fiscal year 2024.
“Our budget allows the county to catch up on long-deferred maintenance, decrease the county’s debt, and ultimately reduce future liabilities that our children must pay,” Kawakami said in a press release. “As the cost of living continues to rise, putting more strain on residents, the budget also aims to provide some relief by decreasing the homestead tax rate by 15% and the residential tax rate by 10%.”
The operating budget continues to focus on infrastructure, a top priority of Kawakami’s administration.
With approximately $29.9 million in new General Fund capital improvements this year, more than 90% will be dedicated to deferred maintenance, solid waste and wastewater projects. The budget allocates $15.5 million for repaving and $18.5 million in capital improvement-related road costs.
Salaries and benefits comprise 77% of the general fund budget, leaving a little more than 20% for fulfilling the county’s core functions and services. The budget also aims to reduce the county’s debt by allocating $13 million to pay off the state Dwelling Unit Revolving Fund for the Lima Ola housing project.
This strategic investment will result in significant savings in interest payments and will enable the housing development fund to be utilized for the continued development of affordable housing.
The budget for fiscal year 2024 includes creating new positions, which will aid in expanding lifeguard coverage at our beach parks, launching the new Kapa’a satellite department of motor vehicles facility, and providing extra support for initiatives concerning homelessness.