LWVNCC supports fiscal measures to provide revenue sufficient for essential government services for the entire county, including municipalities such as the Cities of Wilmington and Newark which serve the County.
New Castle County
▪ Fiscal measures to provide revenue sufficient for essential government services for the entire county.
▪ Property tax as the primary source of revenue for county government. Property tax assessments should be kept up-to-date and equitable. Tax-exempt properties should be kept to a minimum.
Specific considerations pertaining to tax-exempt properties:
- We favor tax-exemptions for public schools and for public and private post-high school educational facilities (classrooms, laboratories, etc.), if they meet accreditation and degree-granting requirements.
- We oppose tax-exemptions for parsonages and investment properties held by religious organizations as well as for facilities owned by educational institutions which are not part of the educational program, such as faculty residences. Profit-making properties owned by both public and private educational institutions should be taxed.
- An important consideration for granting tax-exemptions for charitable and recreational facilities should be whether the government would otherwise have to provide the service. Properties which do not offer such necessary services should be taxed. Properties which perform a social welfare function and fire companies were mentioned as deserving an exemption.
- Required payments in lieu of taxes were considered desirable if the level of service can be fairly assessed and would warrant such payment.
- We believe that elderly or disabled people with limited income should be given special consideration on the property taxes on the house in which they live.
▪ Administration of services such as public works, sewer, police, parks and recreation, libraries, community development and housing; and planning at the County level.
▪ Realty transfer taxes, user fees for measurable services (e.g. sewer, water, parks fees), impact fees on new development.
▪ Emergency services (9-1-1 Communications network, paramedic response teams and police) which are essential and should be available statewide. New Castle County should receive an equitable share of state funding.
▪ County administration of housing for low income citizens financed by federal or state government
City of Newark
▪ Property taxes and user fees on measurable services as the bulk of local income.
- Narrow-based taxes and earmarked revenues should be avoided EXCEPT in cases where they relate directly and exclusively to a benefit for the group taxed. User fees should be continued for water and electricity. The rates may provide profit to the city as long as they are comparable to rates charged by private companies in the area. Services should be financed or subsidized from general revenues whenever they benefit the community as a whole, i.e. trash collection, library services, parks.
▪ Property taxes which are equitable through up-to-date assessments and coordination with county assessments.
▪ Minimizing the number of tax-exempt properties because they adds an extra financial burden.
City of Wilmington:
Finances of the City of Wilmington which had been part of the old Action Position under the New Castle County finance position, "Paying for Local Government," were dropped in 1/14/89.