Delaware House Approves Restrictions on Local Taxing Powers

Jun 11, 2014

Credit Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - The state House has approved a bill clarifying the ability of Delaware municipalities to raise taxes.

The bill approved on a 37-to-1 vote Tuesday makes clear that a city cannot impose any tax not expressly authorized by the General Assembly in approving or amending the local government's charter.

The bill was prompted by issues in Dewey Beach, which was the target of a lawsuit last year claiming that its business license fees are so excessive that they amount to unauthorized taxes. 

But in a December ruling now being appealed, a judge said the town charter as approved by the legislature gives Dewey officials broad taxing authority.

The bill, which now goes to the Senate, exempts the city of Wilmington and other municipalities with home rule charters established before 1966.