Seniors, Nonprofits Worried About Delaware Budget Cuts - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Seniors, Nonprofits Worried About Delaware Budget Cuts

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DOVER, Del. -- Delaware lawmakers on Monday approved reducing a tax break for seniors on school taxes, irking some seniors and worrying some nonprofits about the future of funding for their organizations.

The General Assembly's powerful Joint Finance Committee voted to cut the senior tax break on property taxes for schools by 20 percent or as much as $100. Currently, seniors can receive up to $500 off their annual school tax bill.

Marvin Garnet of Smyrna said he'll be able to afford the reduction but knows other seniors whose shrinking budgets will be affected.

"It ain't gonna help us...taking money out of our pockets," he said.

Carolyn Fredricks, executive director of the Modern Maturity Center in Dover, said she is worried about potential funding cuts to the organization, which serves thousands of people and receives hundreds of thousands of the dollars in funding from the state.

While deciding on 10 percent across-the-board cuts to nonprofits that provide services to the state, JFC members voted to postpone a decision on $2,600 in cuts to funding at the Modern Maturity Center. Fredricks says she's worried the fiscal axe will fall when lawmakers revisit the issue, potentially hurting critical financial support for volunteers.

"It's an extremely vital program, not only for the nonprofits that benefit from service but from the volunteers who remain active and engaged in the community as well," she said.

Fredricks said she is worried the organization will also lose part of its $500,000 in grant in aid funding from the state.

Joint Finance Committee member and Sen. Brian Bushweller (D-Dover) said the General Assembly faces difficult decisions on funding for many nonprofits and organizations.

"These nonprofits provide very valuable services to the people and we all in the General Assembly need to keep that in mind," he said.

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