It has become common knowledge that Maui’s economy, and the state’s, is on the rebound, especially where tourism is concerned. Arrivals have been climbing consistently, and so has visitor spending, giving our island a breath of financial fresh air. Now we’ve had another encouraging bit of news.
According to the Hawaiian Council on Revenues, there will be a 3 percent increase in general fund revenues for this fiscal year, which was a full percentage point higher than the projections of September. Government officials have been fretting over budget deficits, so this increase will be especially welcome. The council explained that a percentage point represents about $44 million.
Considering Governor Neil Abercrombie’s projected budget deficit of $71 million earlier this month, the extra $44 million is welcome. Abercrombie shared some words of encouragement that this is a sign that the economy is on the mend, but he also made it clear that we have a way to go yet.
The Governor’s administration has also worked on budget projections for the fiscal years of 2012 and 2013, where they estimated shortfalls of $410 million and $361 million, respectively. Abercrombie stated that over the remaining months of the fiscal year, revenues will need to grow by 7 percent for that 3 percent budget increase to come to fruition.
On behalf of our community, let’s keep our fingers crossed and do what we can to aid in economic growth for our island and our state!
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