Delaware Taxpayers Voice Concerns Over Gov. Markell's Initiatives
DOVER, Del. - In the past month, Governor Jack Markell came up with proposals to tackle both bad roads and clean water issues.
The average Delawarean could pay about $100 a year between the two proposals, according to the adminstration's estimates.
Some taxpayers say they're just not happy about more of their hard-earned money going to the state.
On Tuesday, Markell pitched an annual fee of up to $85 on households that would be collected through county property taxes, to clean overly polluted waterways.
That proposal comes just weeks after Markell asked for a 10 cent gas tax increase to fund $500 million in infrastructure improvements.
Shericka Passwaters of Dover says the double whammy of taxes would only squeeze her already tight budget. The single mom of three says she already pays nearly a thousand dollars in rent.
"I worked pretty hard all my life and I'm barely making it. I had to stop working and go back to school. I've had to make some cutbacks. I can't do as much with the kids because things cost so much," said Passwaters.
Eleni Dallas of Dover says she can't afford more taxes.
"I'm a student and I have student loans. It's just too much," said Dallas.
Others say they are for the taxes, if their money will help fix up the state.
"We don't pay any sales tax and if we clean up the waterways it's going to bring more people to our state and we need our roads fixed," said Dee Black of Dover.
DNREC says there are almost 400 impaired bodies of water across the state. Markell says the state's rivers, lakes and bays are so polluted that people have been advised not to swim in them or eat fish from them.
Markell says while he doesn't want to have to ask for tax increases, it has to be done for the betterment of the state.
"Sometimes when people say, Governor I'm with you. I want to make all these investments in infrastructure. I want to make investments in clean water, but I don't want to make anyone pay for it. Its not actually how it works. The people who design these projects and build these projects want to get paid for it," said Markell.
While the governor says it's all about protecting the future, some taxpayers say it should be all about protecting their wallets.
"Everything just adds up and it's difficult. Another tax is not what we're really looking forward to but what can you do? You can't change the government's mind. You can't make their decisions for them. They are doing what they think is best, whether we agree with it or not," said Passwaters.