Mayor Alan Arakawa has proposed a $632 million budget for Maui County, an increase of $107.8 million from the current fiscal year.
The proposal includes $475.3 million for county operations (a $40.8 million increase), as well as $156.7 million for capital improvement projects (a $67 million increase).
Arakawa said Friday that much of the county's increased revenues for the coming year are the result of unanticipated savings from prior years, and noted that the additional money would be a one-time deal, as the county's regular sources of revenue are still tight.
Arakawa proposed increasing real property tax rates to compensate for the continued decline in property values -- which were projected to be down 13.7 percent from the previous year. Under the proposal, property taxes would be "revenue neutral" meaning landowners would expect to pay about the same amount as last year.
Other highlights from Arakawa's first budget proposal of his current term include:
>$19.9 million for road resurfacing and safety improvements, up from $10.1 million in the current year.
>$43.9 million for water system upgrades, up from $23 million.
>$12.4 million for drainage improvement projects, up from $10.1 million.
>Ending county employee furloughs.
"My administration is dedicated to the goal of decreasing operating expenses while strengthening our commitment to support the essential services to our community," he said in written remarks.
The Maui County Council is expected to begin its review of the budget later this month. The council has until June 10 to approve the budget for fiscal year 2012, which takes effect July 1.
For more information, see Saturday's edition of The Maui News.