June 8, 2010 – Hilo, Hawaii
Video by David Corrigan
In a strange twist to the Hamakua land sale saga, last year’s opponents and supporters switch votes, after councilman Pete Hoffmann, desperate to reduce a $23 million property tax increase with $4 million in possible revenue, introduces an amendment to sell the vacant lands for this fiscal budget.
This time around, many of the councilmembers who last year voted in favor of the sale, now voted against it. Last fiscal year, the county estimated the land sale would bring in $8 million. However, the vacant lands were ultimately taken off the market, having failed to attract a single bid. The administration, who introduced the land sale plan last year amidst a storm of controversy, now wants nothing to do with the idea.
Hoffmann apparently hoped a reduced sale price would attract a buyer, although there may have been a different motive to his amendment, as he suggests in the video above. The amendment was voted down.