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Legislation giving Del Tech ability to levy property tax off the table

Courtesy of Delaware Technical Community College

Legislation giving Delaware Tech bonding and taxing authority appears to be dead. But other lawmakers may step in with alternatives to help the school.

State Sen. Harris McDowell’s  (D-North Wilmington) bill would have established a Community College Infrastructure Fund and allowed the school to phase in a property tax capped at 6.5 cents per $100 in assessed value in all three counties.

But McDowell announced Friday he won’t bring it to the floor for a vote at this time. The move comes a day after Delaware Tech President Mark Brainard emailed him and the other lawmakers asking them to hold off.

Brainard argues Del Tech faces about $100 million in deferred maintenance needs because of aging infrastructure. But McDowell’s bill faced opposition from some Republican state lawmakers and the Delaware State Education Association.

The school may have other options to address their deferred maintenance needs. State Rep. Kevin Hensley ( R-Townsend) said he plans to introduce a bill without the controversial property tax. It would give DelTech bonding authority and allow - but not require - the state to give matching funds for minor capital projects.

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