Honolulu Mayor Could Gut Capital Budget

Civil Beat/RJ Brown

With four weeks until Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle introduces his first city budget, capital budget cuts and user fees have emerged as likely strategies to close the budget gap. Officials are looking at a pay-as-you-go system for city services like trash pick-up and using public swimming pools.

The city's current operating budget is $1.8 billion, and its capital budget is $2.1 billion. The latter includes more than $1 billion for the city's proposed rail line, and about $280 million for city construction projects or capital improvements. Such costs include everything from traffic light maintenance to new fire engines and updated software for city computer systems.

"We are looking really closely not just at the operating budget, but the capital budget," Honolulu Managing Director Doug Chin told Civil Beat. "If there's a theme in this next year's budget, it's really making sure that we're not mortgaging the future, and not creating a budget that's going to be too difficult for our children or grandchildren."

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