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No tax hike proposed in New Castle County budget

Delaware Public Media

New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer unveiled his proposed $319 million spending plan Tuesday. It’s a two percent increase over the current budget.

He says partnerships and assistance from the state and federal government have increased efficiency and eliminated the need to raise taxes or fees.

It’s a budget Meyer says is based heavily on constituent feedback. For example, he says residents asked for more investments in parks. The proposed budget includes new playground equipment, eight new pickleball courts and repaved walking paths.

He also announced he’ll ask the state for an extension on submitting an updated county comprehensive plan - a “blueprint” for future development.

"Of course hearing so much feedback from so many different perspectives means not everybody will get exactly what they want from this plan.  In fact, I'm not sure anyone will, but we’ll continue to work to find common ground to address the most urgent community concerns and deliver a plan that is good for our shared future," he said in an address before the County Council.  

Meyer’s budget also calls for $2.5 million dollars for land preservation and open space. Youth employment and library projects are also a major focus. Meyer pointed to an ongoing plan to replace the Newark library built in 1974.

He also announced steps to add paramedic stations and improve response times.

County officials will provide more details on the proposal at public hearings in April.

Rebecca Baer comes Delaware Public Media from The Florida Channel in Tallahassee where she covered state government and produced documentary features for the series, Florida Crossroads.