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New Castle Co. Exec Meyer calls for property tax hike, blames inherited bills

Delaware Public Media

New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer is proposing a 15% increase to county property taxes as part of his 2019 budget plan.

Before unveiling a just over $291 million operating budget proposal, Meyer used Tuesday’s budget address to tout city services, expanding recreation areas and cost savings.

But he also blamed the previous administration, under former County Executive Tom Gordon, for spending more than the county collected in revenue. Meyer argues New Castle County needs a tax hike to restore fiscal responsibility.

“We must pay our bills. I will not sign a budget that continues to tap reserves to pay for operational expenses for which we don’t have enough revenue,” said Meyer

Meyer is also looking to Dover for help.  He wants the state to return to reimbursing half the county’s cost of paramedic services, allow a 3% county hotel tax and cap the first time homebuyer tax exemption.

“If we as a community were to decide that this modest tax increase, or the state revenue package, is not something we want, we would be forced to make substantial reductions in our services to the public. These are reductions that I do not think anyone actually wants,” said Meyer.

Meyer also proposed a 12% increase in spending on the county’s sewer system, along with a $48 million capital budget.

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