New Castle County residents will not see a property tax increase next year. County Executive Matt Meyer proposes a budget without one.
County Executive Matt Meyer touted the County’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic during a budget address Tuesday, with testing, partnerships and assistance to residents, funded by federal CARES Act relief.
He proposed a $311 million operating budget for 2022— more than 2% larger than the current year’s budget, and about $10 million shy of the County’s 2020 CARES Act allocation.
The proposed budget also includes a new sewer fee that Meyer says would amount to about $2 per month for residential customers starting next January.
Despite the pandemic, Meyer said County finances are stronger than they’ve been in years. But he said the pandemic year has been “horrific” for some county residents — and has brought an increase in gun violence.
“Our budget will more than double the youth programming currently done by our community intervention team,” Meyer said. “When we provide our youth positive alternatives to violence, the result will be less violence.”
Meyer says the County is also preparing to host its largest ever youth employment program this summer.
He says his spending plan would make 15 temporary paramedic positions permanent.
“This year presented particular challenges to our paramedics,” he said. “With this expansion of our paramedic service we will continue to provide the highest quality paramedic response to our residents with zero additional cost to you.”
The proposed budget also includes $7.3 million in additional funding for open space preservation.
New Castle County expects to receive $54 million in federal COVID relief this year. Meyer said Tuesday his focus for the money will be helping families the pandemic has “left behind” — and mentioned putting county residents to work building a trail or a park above I-95 in Wilmington.
Meyer’s proposed budget must be approved by County Council before it goes into effect July 1.