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Dover Debates Possible Tax Increase

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DOVER, Del.- Tax payers could be in for a surprise next year in Dover. The city is putting together its budget for the next fiscal year and a tax increase could be in the near future.

In Monday evening’s city council meeting city officials could not agree on whether or not to increase taxes. City Manager Scott Koenig said raising taxes is something that is long overdue for the city.

"The reality of it is I don't think we can get down to no tax increase or no fee increases,” said Koenig. “We've really run that road to the end at this point." 

According to city officials, the proposed budget will increase water rates and fee and raise property taxes by 21 percent. If the tax increase is approved, homeowners could pay between $36 and $165 more a year.

Koenig said the increase in taxes will go toward fixing things like city streets and buildings. The increase will also help a 3 percent pay increase for some city employees.

"Find another way to subsidize these funds so we can keep our tax rates low so we can have people coming in here who want to be here because of the good tax rate,” said Williams.

Williams said her main concern is those residents who will not be able to afford the tax hike.

"That may not seem like a lot but in these days and times when people are on fixed incomes and people who are getting the salary increases it is a lot,” Williams adds.

For residents like Rafael Fernandez, news of a possible tax hike is unsettling. He’s been retired for only a few months now and it has already been an adjust living on a fixed income. He believes that thoughts of having to pay more are not fair to other people who are retired like himself.

"Everything is going up,” said Fernandez. “It's going to be a burden for the people who are retired and it's going to be a little tough."

Council members asked Koenig to look over the budget once again. City officials will revisit the issue on Thursday evening.

City officials will continue to meet and discuss the budget until they come to a resolution or there is a majority vote.





City Councilwoman Beverly Williams is opposed to the increase in taxes.
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