property tax

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The Sussex County Council has given its blessing to a proposed $143 million budget for the next fiscal year starting July 1st.

The spending plan does not include any increase in the property tax but does provide new dollars from the cash reserves to pay for critical services and infrastructure.

The budget also provides money for additional Delaware State Troopers in Sussex County.

There’s also $8 million for a pilot project to start major upgrade at the wastewater treatment facilities that will double their capacity.

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The Wicomico County Executive and Council are at odds over the changes made in the 2018 budget.

County Executive Bob Culver charges that the council may have violated the county charter when it altered the spending plan.

The council trimmed Culver’s budget proposal by nearly $685-thousand using the cuts to provide a reduction in property taxes and $328-thousand for the school district to buy laptop computers.   

Don Rush

The Wicomico County Council approved a nearly $143 million budget for the 2018 fiscal year.

The spending plan also provides a small reduction in the property tax and money for the Wicomico County School District to buy some laptop computers.

One thing missing is any funding for a new station for the volunteer fire company that broke away from the Salisbury City Fire Department.

Cory Polidore, chief of the volunteer fire company, told the Salisbury Daily Times that this was “a slap in the face.”

Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - A Delaware judge has upheld a 2015 school district election in which residents approved a property tax increase, despite finding that the district's advocacy for the tax hike violated the state's constitution.

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Delaware lawmakers voted to cut the tax break enjoyed by senior citizens on their property by $100.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that many of the members of the Joint Finance Committee said they reluctantly did so.

They cited the prospect of a $400 million budget shortfall as a reason for the reduction.

But there were three dissenting votes with Representative William Carson calling it wrong to take this money away from seniors.  

The move will cut the maximum tax break from $500 to $400 on their property tax bill.

Don Rush

Mayor Jake Day laid out a $58.8 million budget for the city of Salisbury yesterday that includes a 6.7 percent cut in property taxes

That amount will be come down from 96 cents for $100 of assessed property value.

The Salisbury Daily Times also reports that the mayor proposed an 11 percent cut for personal property taxes that businesses pay out for inventory and equipment.  

There will also be a major restructuring of city government creating five new departments and eliminating four others.

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Delaware Governor John Carney says that the state’s property tax is “too competitive”.

His remarks came during an interview on WDEL

The Wilmington News Journal reports that in a written statement Carney stopped short of calling for an increase.

He said he did not believe that the state’s budget challenges should shifted to local and county governments.

But he added Delaware must recognize that the property is very low compared with other states.

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Voters in the Indian River School District gave the thumbs up to a referendum that would raise $7.3 million.

It was approved an overwhelming margin of around 17-hundred votes – that is 7-thousand to 53-hundred.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the district argued that the funds were needed given that its student pollution had grown over 22 percent over the last decade.

The district says it is projected to hit over 10-thousand students by 2026.

The district said that this would save up to 200 jobs.

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There will be no property tax increase for New Castle residents.

That’s the word from County Executive Tom Gordon who presented his $267 million operating budget which is an increase of around 4 percent over last year.

In the operating budget Gordon has proposed $184 million for the general fund.

It constitutes a 6 percent increase which is due to higher salary and benefits cost.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that local officials believe revenue form building permits and other fees will be sufficient to meet budgetary needs.

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The third try may be the charm.

The Christina School district is taking one more swipe at convincing voters to raise taxes after the last two efforts were rejected in referendums.

The district will be asking voters on March 23rd to approve a 30 cent increase per $100 of assessed property value.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that’s 20 percent less than what the district had sought last year.

School officials argue that the money is needed after it cut its budget by $9 million when that last referendum was rejected.

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Worcester County residents will see an increase in the property tax of 6.5 percent and a .5 percent hike in the piggyback tax after the Commissioner approved the budget for the 2016 fiscal year.

In addition, the public schools will receive its maintenance of effort money but will operate at the same funding level as 2015 despite a cost of living increase request.

Finally there will be a budget surplus of $1.5 million.

The Commissioners were facing a $22 million budget shortfall.

The spending plan was approved a 5-to-2 vote.

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Sussex County leaders have unveiled their proposed $128.6 million budget for the upcoming year.

That’s increase of 9.6 percent increase over last year largely due to sewer construction projects.

The spending plan does keep the property tax rate steady at 44.5 cent per $100 of assessed value.

The budget does include the phase in of a one-time sewer connection fee along with an $8 increase in sewer rates for current and new customers.

For one district, Long Neck, the hike will be $12.57.

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A bill that will give the Sussex Tech High School some financial breathing room while bringing down its enrollment is now on its way to the Governor’s desk.

The measure was approved by the state Senate on a 16-to-4 vote with the three Sussex County Republicans opposed.

The measure would temporarily increase the property tax rate cap from 23.5 cents per $100 of assessed value to 30 cents next year.

The school district had hoped the cap would go up to 50 cents.

In addition, the district must begin to reduce its enrollment.

 

Don Rush

It’s another day at the polls for residents of the Milford School District.

The polls open at 10 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.

Voters will be asked to approve a property tax increase to help deal with overcrowding in the district as well as reductions in spending by the state and federal governments.

The money would go toward a new 14-hundred student high school spread out across 190 acres.

It would sit along Route 113 near Redners.

The old high school site will be used as a new Junior High School for seventh and eighth graders.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - House lawmakers have passed a bill allowing the Sussex Technical School District to temporarily raise tax rates on residents.

The legislation approved Thursday and sent to the Senate is aimed at shoring up the finances of Sussex Technical High School, which has seen enrollment increase sharply in recent years.

Republican House Minority Leader Danny Short says the district has been spending $1 million in cash reserves annually to offset growth-related expenses

Sussex County Technical High School

A deal has been struck between Delaware lawmakers and the Sussex County Technical High School.

The state House of Representatives has offered up a plan to restructure the schools finances and enrollment.

The measure would provide for a 5.5 percent property tax increase starting on July 1st in the district.

The following year there would be a 1 cent increase finally capping at 30 cent for $100 of assessed property value.

The increase will cost the average taxpayer nearly $11 by the end of the second year.

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The possibility of voter fraud in this week’s referendum that would increase property taxes for the Red Clay School District has been raised by state Senator Karen Peterson.

And the Stanton Democrat says she is asking the Delaware Attorney General to investigate.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that Peterson says she received a report that a group of parents who had voted at one polling place saying they were going to vote at a second polling place.

The paper notes that referendums unlike general election are not given specific polling places.

legis.delaware.gov

Delaware lawmakers said no to Governor Jack Markell’s proposal to cut $12.6 million in property tax breaks for seniors.

The plan cuts in half the $500 state subsidy paid to seniors to help with their tax bills.

During a hearing by the Joint Finance Committee yesterday Senator Bruce Ennis told the governor’s budget officials that the reduction would be difficult to get through the General Assembly.

It’s part of Markell’s effort to balance his $3.9 billion budget which still goes up by 2.4 percent over current levels.

Don Rush

The Bridgeville town commissioners voted this week to keep their 20 percent increase in property taxes.

The vote was 3-to-1.

A local resident Barbara Devine began a petition after the town approved the tax hike in late May which went into effect on July 1st.

Local reaction started when residents saw their property taxes increases by 40 cents per $100 of assessed property value as well as a hike in their water fees.

Indian River School

Residents in Indian River School District will see a reduction of 5 cents in their property tax rate for the fiscal year of 2015.

Last night the Indian River Board of Education voted to cut the rate from $2.74 cents per $100 of assessed property value to $2.69 cents.

Most of the decrease came from a reduction in the debt service.

The District says that while it was required to sell bonds to fund the costs of building expansion that was offset by paying off bonds from construction projects in the mid-1990’s.

Don Rush

Property taxes will go up again for the fifth straight year for Wicomico county property owners under a $129 million budget.

On a vote of 5-to-2 yesterday the County Council approved a hike of 5 percent in its annual budget.

This will increase the rate by 43 cents to $9.52 for every $1-thousand of assessed property value.

The increase will go into effect July 1st and is needed to compensate for a decline of 2.5 percent in county property values.

salisbury police department

The Salisbury City Council approved a new $50 million budget yesterday that raises the local property tax by percent and spends that money on putting more than 15 police officers on the streets.

The number of officers would go up from 92 to 102.

Council President Jake Day called the new spending a defensible investment.

And Council Vice President Laura Mitchell said she did not want to read about a crime that was preventable by putting more police on the streets.

Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Officials in Dover are looking at filling a nearly $2.2 million budget gap with the largest tax hike in years.

The proposed 7-cent tax increase would be a 21 percent bump for property taxes and could cost homeowners $36 to $172 more annually.

At a special meeting on closing the budget gap Wednesday, City Manager Scott Koenig suggested increasing the groundwater surcharge to 45 cents per gallon and doubling rates for water and wastewater to $2.50 to help offset the deficit.

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A referendum to raise property taxes to build a new school in the Cape Henlopen District was approved by a thousand vote margin out of 6-thousand cast yesterday.

In addition to building a fifth elementary school that will hold 720-students that money will also pay for additional classrooms at Beacon Middle School and Mariner Middle School.

The referendum means that the average property tax will go up by $22 in the next fiscal year and $37 in the following year.

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In the Cape Henlopen School District voters will be casting their ballots for a referendum today.

The measure calls for a hike in the property tax which would cost the average property owner an extra $59 a year.

It would take effect over the next three years.

The measure would help pay for the construction of a new elementary school with enrollment having grown by nearly 1-thousand students over the last 12 years.

The new elementary school would be located in Rehoboth Beach along Route 24.

Don Rush

Seaford School District residents will be going to the polls next week on February 27 to vote on a property tax increase to help pay for programs created by the federal Race to the Top program.

The district says the average property owner would see their tax go up by around a hundred dollars.

WBOC reports that Interim Superintendent Dr. Kevin Carson says the additional funds will assist in paying for increased staffing, Spanish immersion programs and the International Baccalaureate program.

 

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The Salisbury City Council is set to hold a final hearing tonight on the city’s $53 million budget that could include the town’s first property tax rate hike in years.

More than half of the nearly 11-thousand property owners would see an increase in their tax bills while the rest could see a slight decrease.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the rate will jump by 65 cents per $1-thousand of assessed property value just to keep the revenue from the property tax the same in the face of declining property values resulting from the Great Recession.

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The Ocean City Town Council gave it blessing to a $77 million budget for the 2014 fiscal year. 

And, it puts the property tax raet at 47.2 cents per $100 of assessed property value to maintain the same revenue as last year.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the budget includes a controversial provision for paid parking on some street where once it had been free.

This will bring in around $152-thousand in new revenue.

Don Rush

Voters in the Colonial School District finally gave their approval to a property tax hike but only narrowly by a 67 vote margin out of around 6-thousand votes.

It means that the rate will go up by 35 cents per $100 of assessed property value and should raise $9.6 million for the district to fill deficit left by a decline in federal and state support during the recession.

The average property owner will see an increase of around $265 per year.

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NEW CASTLE, Del. (AP) - Colonial School District voters are set to weigh in on a measure that aims to raise $9.6 million for the district.

Voters will decide Tuesday whether to raise property taxes after the district's first attempt at a tax increase failed in February. The measure is meant to fill in for declines in federal and state funding.

Colonial School District Superintendent Dorothy Linn says this time administrators have made an effort to explain the district's position.

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