HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Honolulu City Council has approved a $1.8 billion operating budget on a unanimous vote. A separate resolution to increase the property tax rate for owners who don't live in their homes was approved Wednesday on a 6-3 vote. All other property tax rates would remain unchanged, while the rate for non-occupant owners would climb by 16 cents to $3.58 per $1,000 of assessed value.
Newly sworn-in Councilmember Lee Donohue abstained from the property tax vote. An abstention technically counts as a "yes" vote. Councilmember Donovan Dela Cruz also abstained. Councilmembers Ikaika Anderson, Romy Cachola and Ann Kobayashi voted against the hike.
The measures now go to Mayor Mufi Hannemann for consideration. His administration supported the tax resolution as a way to balance the budget while going after speculators and investors who own property in Hawaii but who do not live in the state.