(BIVN) – On Tuesday, the Hawaii County Council dove into the budget for the upcoming fiscal year, but there are already deep concerns over how the eruption in the lower East Rift Zone of Kilauea, only two weeks old, will impact revenues.
Councilmembers got a preview of what might be in store during a Finance Committee meeting in Hilo on Monday.
Lisa Miura, Hawaii County’s real property tax administrator, told the council, “three weeks ago, we would never have anticipated losing a million dollars in revenue just from one area in Puna. Friday, I wouldn’t have estimated that that area would have grown so much just over the weekend.”
“We’re looking at, at least, $1 million dollars in loss of revenue so far and counting,” Miura said, “and it’s looking more like $1.2 million is where we’re at right now. This doesn’t even include the agricultural farms that are taking a huge impact. We started looking at this just from the Leilani Estates, Lanipuna Gardens, in that immediate area.”
“Clearly, knowing what we know today, it’s definitely not near enough,” Miura continued. “The area has lost value. If you’re asking what the total loss could be – not including the business impact, but just the real property values – it could go up to $6.2 million, if it’s for the whole area, beyond Pahoa the intersection. We’re obviously hoping it doesn’t get to that, but I think we’re just starting. And I’d be super hesitant to say that we’re even
close to coming to the end.”