Big Island mayor weighs options for reducing budget gap

Big Island mayor weighs options for reducing budget gap

HILO, Hawaii (AP) - Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim says he's trying to figure out a way to cover an expected $12 million shortfall in the county budget without raising taxes for residents on the Big Island.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports that Kim must submit his preliminary budget to the County Council by March 1.

Kim says he's weighing several options to make up the difference between anticipated revenue and anticipated expenses, but he wants to keep raising taxes off the table.

The county's open space land fund has made things difficult for Kim, who says the $4 million that goes to the fund each year accounts for one-third of his budget gap. He says he would rather put the money toward police and fire departments.

Kim says he still in the process of finalizing the budget proposal.

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