Will Dover Lead The Way In Protecting Taxpayers?

As usual, I am fighting the good fight for taxpayers. My friend, Councilman Tim Slavin developed a proposal that just makes sense. It requires a tax hike greater than 9.5% to go before the people in a plebiscite– a non-binding referendum before it can pass. This is not a radical proposal. It does not prohibit or even hinder a moderate tax hike that may or may not be necessary. What it does is put the brakes on wholesale looting of the taxpayers, destruction of confidence in the job creating business community, and a crushing surprise on families that are already on the edge. Passing this sends a message to those who want to invest in Dover that we will manage our finances well and give you economic certainty. Dover is poised to have nearly a billion dollars of private investment flow into the city in the next decade. Will the city risk it by not giving a measure of certainty? If we can’t say to our families and businesses that we can’t keep tax increases in the single digits then we do not know how to manage our city. In the competitive job market of the late 21st century, we need to compete with places that offer some measure of certainty for the cost of doing business. A cap on tax increases makes sense. If the need for a huge tax increase is vital to the people’s interest, we can trust them to ratify the decision of Council. Large tax increases are disruptive to people’s livelihoods, budgets, and confidence in their government therefore they should have a buy in from the people. Without that buy in, they will ultimately fail. The circumstances that one could envision such as a large natural disaster that requires bonds to rebuild would have people’s support. There already is a provision for a referendum to increase the general obligation debt beyond a certain level, yet poor fiscal planning gets a pass. So why should we have one to increase taxes because of debt, but not have one to increase taxes because of poor policy or management? The fear is that people would not support a large tax hike. I say that is good. Large tax hikes are bad policy. This is common sense. I have long favored referendum and tax limitation and will continue to fight for it. I fought to insure it goes to a floor vote in January and I hope that you all will take up the fight and get it passed. Here is the State News coverage. http://delaware.newszap.com/centraldelaware/137059-70/dover-proposal-referendum-on-large-property-tax-hikes