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City may look to nonprofits to help balance the budget

February 18, 2010
The Maui News

HONOLULU (AP) - A Honolulu City Council committee has deferred two proposals to either raise or eliminate the city's minimum $100 real property tax for churches, private schools and other nonprofits.

But Budget Committee chairman Nestor Garcia says the bills could be revived next month during budget deliberations.

Hundreds of organizations, including The Queen's Medical Center and Kamehameha Schools, enjoy the deeply discounted tax rate.

As they struggle to raise money in a recession, the nonprofits defend the tax break, saying cuts in vital services would likely be necessary if they are forced to pay higher property taxes.

Garcia says the minimum tax is difficult to justify with the city facing an estimated $140 million budget shortfall for the coming fiscal year.



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