The state’s four county mayors went before the Legislature’s money committees today, asking them to maintain the status quo while presenting a modest set of proposals for spending in the coming fiscal year.
“We’re not trying to ask for a lot of things because we know this is a tough economic year,” said Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa.
The four were united in asking lawmakers to keep in place the funding received by counties from the state’s hotel room tax.
Gov. Neil Abercrombie has pledged to leave the tax money alone. Last year, in an effort to balance the state budget, Gov. Linda Lingle attempted to divert the revenue, about $94 million, from the counties to the state’s coffers. Lawmakers ultimately rejected the idea.
Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle also asked that lawmakers not divert funds from the half percent general excise tax surcharge dedicated to the city’s rail project.