Delaware Public Media

Property tax hike planned for Dover

Jun 11, 2019

Residents in Dover will likely see a hike in their property taxes starting next month.

Dover City Manager Donna Mitchell’s proposed FY 2020 budget would raise property taxes by 8.6%—about $60 more per year for the average homeowner—boosting the city’s operating budget to $130,854,300.

The new revenue would add 12 new city workers in public works and code enforcement plus a grant writer. Mitchell says the city is starting to see negative results from cuts made to public works during the financial crisis.

“We are responsible as a city for the storm water city limits. In order to remain compliant with federal and state permit regulations, we need the staffing to develop that program to make sure we don’t have harmful pollutants being washed into our waterways—and flood mitigation practices,” said Mitchell.

The budget also funds the city’s street program; which Mitchell says was funded by the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) in FY 2019.

“Because of a storm water project that we have to do that’s about a million dollars. So that took the money away from us for our street program,” she said. “So this past year we had no street program that was funded by the city. What we are getting done has been funded by a legislative CTF fund.”

City Council voted 7-2 in favor of Mitchell’s proposed budget during a reading on Monday. The council has until June 24th to propose any changes before finalizing the budget.

Dover residents last saw a property tax increase in 2016 when officials raised the rate by almost 20 percent. Mitchell says Dover ratepayers can expect a water and sewer tax hike next fiscal year.