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Newark City Council passes property tax and parking increases

Delaware Public Media

Newark City Council approves a property tax increase, and is raising the cost of parking in lots on Main Street.

Earlier this week council passed Newark’s FY2023 budget which will raise property taxes 5%. The city projects the increase will add $213,500 in revenue in 2023 and $427,000 in 2024.

City Manager Tom Coleman says the tax increase is minimal compared to inflation.

“Relative to inflation, even a 5 percent tax rate increase is a tax cut when it comes to the value of the dollar received by the city. Inflation is at almost 9 percent the tax increase is 5 percent. We actually lost the difference. So 3.7 percent in revenue to the city.”

And the cost to use parking meters downtown is going up to $2.25 per hour, a one-dollar increase and it will cost $2.00 per hour to park in the Main Street parking lots, which is also up a dollar.

There will be discounted parking during three months in a year from December 15 to January 15, and June 16 to August 15, mainly when the University of Delaware is on recess. City holidays would still be free.

"I was originally a little disappointed to see still a 5% tax increase because I thought we could pay for most of it through the parking revenue,” said Councilman Jason Lawhorn. “But the other thing that I think came clear that the discussion I had with staff is that the parking increase is nice and it may put us in a pretty good spot for 2023, but it doesn't really help us moving forward due to all the things I've already been discussed here tonight with balancing against inflation and just costs."

Council voted unanimously to pass the budget with a 5-2 vote on the tax increase. The two no votes were Jay Bancroft and Travis McDermott.

The tax hike goes into effect on July 1.

Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.