property tax

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The voters in the Indian River School District have finally authorized a referendum that would raise taxes for school construction.

WBOC reports that the measure was approved by around 3-thousand votes with some 12-thousand cast.

It’s the third time around after the district suffered two previous defeats at the ballot box.

The referendum will mean a maximum possible property tax increase of just over $63 on average.

The money will go toward building a new Sussex Central High School that has been experiencing overcrowding.

Don Rush

The Dover City Council has approved the town’s $43.6 million general fund budget.

And, in order to balance it, the council approved an 8.6 percent property tax hike.

WBOC reports that city manager Donna Mitchell said the city wants add staffing for unfilled positions in departments like public works as well as improving city services.

It is also looking to crack down on nuisance properties with expanded code enforcement.

Don Rush

Dover residents could see an 8.6 percent increase I their property taxes.

It’s part of the $43.6 million general fund budget that begins with the fiscal year in July.

WBOC reports that the money would go the pay for such things as additional staffing for code enforcement, street maintenance and stormwater control.

The city council voted this week to move the measure for consideration at a meeting in June.

Don Rush

Berlin residents will see an 18 percent hike in their property taxes.

Town officials approved the measure on Monday in an effort to close a $15 million budgetary shortfall.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that it’s been more than a decade since the property tax rate has been raised.

The vote was 4 to 1.

The hike is lower than the proposed 30 percent increase that was under consideration earlier this year.

It means that the rate will rise from 68 cents of $100 of property assessed value to 80 cents.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Democratic lawmakers have again introduced legislation allowing school districts in Delaware to raise taxes without local voter approval.

A bill introduced Thursday says that, beginning in July 2020, a school board could increase the rate or amount of its district operating tax by at least 2% every year, indefinitely, without holding a referendum.

Don Rush

Berlin town officials are now looking at a property tax hike of 18 percent to help close a $15 million budget shortfall.

That’s down from a suggestion of a 30 percent increase that produced an outcry from residents at a recent town council meeting.

In addition, city officials are considering increasing the utility rate for water and sewer.

Don Rush

Taxes could be going up next year for the residents of Berlin.

Town officials are looking at ways to close a $15 million deficit.

One proposal is a 30 percent increase in the real property tax along with higher utility fees.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the plan has generated a good deal of opposition among residents.

Kent County officials have finalized their $31 million general fund budget for the next fiscal year.

WBOC reports they do it without raising property taxes.

But the Levy Court Commissioners are looking at upping the utility rates with an eye toward major maintenance work on the aging water and sewer system.

A final vote on the spending plan is expected early next month.

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The property tax referendum for the Woodbridge School District has been voted down.

WBOC reports that Superintendent Heath Chasanov said the measure was defeated by 753 to 642.

It was aimed at raising $950-thousand to fund the district’s operating costs.

The measure would have increased the average property owner’s annual tax bill by between $70 to $85.

Chasanov told the television station that there will be plans developed over the next few weeks on how to deal with the defeat.

But he added no decisions have been made.

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There’s another referendum coming for residents in the Indian River School District.

The school board voted 7-to-1 to propose another measure that would raise property taxes to deal with the increasing enrollment.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the proposal would pay for the costs for adding classrooms at the Indian River High School and the Selbyville Middle School.

Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Lawmakers are again considering groundbreaking legislation that would impose a statewide property tax in Delaware.

A bill that cleared a Senate committee on Wednesday would allow Delaware's statewide community college system to issue bonds to finance building construction, repairs, equipment purchases and educational technology.

The bill also establishes a Community College Infrastructure Fund to pay off the bonds and allows Del Tech to impose a statewide property tax to raise the required funds.

Don Rush

The Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce has been out discussing Wicomico County’s property tax revenue cap after a series of recommendations that include replacing it or eliminating it altogether.

The measure approved in 2001 limits an increase in the revenue from the property tax to 2 percent a year or the Consumer Price Index whichever is less.  

Any change would take five of the seven votes on the county council.

John Palmer who spearheaded the original cap told WBOC that adjusting the cap would be “political suicide”.

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Some Ocean View residents got hit with a hike in their property taxes of as much as a hundred percent.

Earlier in the year the Town Council had voted to increase them by 50 percent.

But the Salisbury Daily Times reports that some saw their bills go up further because of the decision to switch from town to county assessed valuations in an effort to save the town $250-thousand over the next five years.

Don Rush

Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver wants an additional $750-thousand for in a onetime appropriation for schools.

He told the Salisbury Daily Times he would like to see that money go toward school security.

Culver said that the county contribution to the Board of Education would total $43.6 million to main the same per-student amount spent each year.

It’s part of his $151 million operating budget which is an increase of 4.5 percent over the last fiscal year.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - A $5.6 billion incentive package to try to lure Amazon's second headquarters to Maryland has advanced in the House of Delegates.

The House gave the bill preliminary approval Tuesday. The House could vote on the bill already passed by the Senate it in the next couple of days and send it to Gov. Larry Hogan, who submitted the proposal to the General Assembly.

Don Rush

Voters will go to the polls on March 20th to cast their ballots on a referendum for the Cape Henlopen School District.

The district will be asking for a tax increase to generate $21 million for a new middle school and the expansion of Cape Henlopen High School.

It would add $46 a year onto the average household to their property taxes.

WBOC reports that the district says the expansion is needed to meet the growing student enrollment.

Don Rush

Has Wicomico County’s revenue tax cap run its course?

The Greater Salisbury Committee will be conducting a study to take a look at the measure’s impact 17 years after it was approved by voters.

The cap limits property tax revenue to a two percent increase or the Consumer Price Index whichever is less.

The Salisbury Daily Times notes that the CPI has not been above the 2 percent mark over the last half decade.

Mike Dunn, the committee’s CEO, told the paper the organization believed it was time to take a look at the cap.

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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.

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.

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.