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Honolulu mayor intends to sign $2.1 billion budget

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HONOLULU (AP) — The Honolulu City Council has approved a $2.14 billion operating budget, which is about $5 million less than the one presented by the mayor.

Wednesday's vote was 8-1, with Councilman Breene Harimoto casting the "no" vote. Harimoto said he objects to adding about $3 million to the fund that gives grants to Oahu nonprofits, while raising property tax rates for hotel and resort property owners, along with a category of owners of homes valued at $1 million or more who don't have homeowner's exemptions for being owner-occupants.

The operating budget for fiscal 2015 and package of nearly $701 million in spending bills avoids tax rate increases for most residential property owners, a fee for curbside garbage pickup and advertising on the sides of buses, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported (http://ow.ly/xGaaI ). It also directs $40 million toward homeless shelters and programs.

Mayor Kirk Caldwell said he intends to sign the operating budget and spending bills even though the council rejected or altered most of his proposals.

The council rejected Caldwell's plans to charge residents $10 a month for residential garbage pickup and to allow advertisements on the sides of city buses.

The capital improvement projects budget is about $69 million more than Caldwell's proposal.

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Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, http://www.staradvertiser.com

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