Kent County residents question proposed lodging tax revenue to benefit DE Turf
Kent County Levy Court commissioners are hearing from some concerned residents about a lodging tax that would send revenue to a nonprofit.
Legislation sponsored by State Sen. Trey Paradee (D-Dover) and State Rep. Sean Lynn (D-Dover) gives Levy Court commissioners the power to impose a 3 percent tax on hotels, motels and vacation rentals.
Money raised would go directly to DE Turf, which is operated by the nonprofit Kent County Regional Sports Complex Corporation.
Robin Hayes attended a forum DE Turf held last week to answer questions about the tax - and says she has issues with it.
“If I have family or friends that come in from out of town and they would like to stay locally in one of the hotels, they’re not planning to use that sporting complex," she said. "And yet, they’re going to have to incur this usage tax/fee.”
Levy Court Commissioner Allen Angel says he only became aware of measure in the last week of this year’s legislative session. He supports the fee to DE Turf, but says maybe state lawmakers should rewrite the law so the county controls the revenue.
“That would be a way of one, keeping a line item on our budget, as well as they would have direct communication with us and you know we would be the governing entity,” he said.
DE Turf is in debt nearly $21 million from the construction of the complex in 2016. It didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Paradee didn’t respond to a request for comment about conflict of interest questions involving his brother John, who is a member of the DE Turf board and has an interest in a nearby development.