By 1808Delaware

The Delaware City Council is actively considering a proposal to alter the city’s income tax rates. This significant change, if implemented, would mark the first adjustment in 13 years. A citizen-led task force has thoroughly examined the proposal, and a website is now open to the public for detailed information and comments.

A Look at the Proposal

A Dedicated and Long-Term Source of Funding

The proposed increase in funding is aimed at maintaining the high level of service that Delaware residents have come to expect. Unlike a temporary solution, the permanent nature of the proposed increase would enable the City to manage long-term debt required for vital projects.

Estimated Revenue and Allocation

An estimated $8 million in new revenue would be generated through the proposal. The funds would be allocated to various essential projects, such as:

  • Parking garage construction
  • Justice Center expansion
  • New swimming pool complex
  • Other community-identified high-priority services and facilities
Why Permanent Instead of Temporary?

A temporary solution might be suitable for a roads levy, but the current request encompasses more than just roads. It’s a comprehensive approach to address the City’s capital and operational needs. The permanent nature of the proposal underscores the need for a dedicated and lasting source of funding.

The Financial Review Task Force’s Involvement

A Citizen-Led Approach

The Financial Review Task Force, a citizen-led group of nine Delaware residents, conducted a rigorous review of the City’s financial standing. Meeting nearly two dozen times over a 10-month period, the task force conducted a high-level review of the City’s financial status and overall outlook.

Key Findings

According to the task force, Delaware offers a high level of services with one of the lowest tax rates compared to other Central Ohio communities. Their report warns that this relationship is unsustainable, projecting a negative general fund balance by 2026, growing worse in the subsequent years.

Capital Infrastructure Challenges

The task force revealed acute stress in maintaining capital infrastructure assets. A total of $3 million in planned projects were cut or deferred in 2022 and 2023 to minimize impacts on the operating budget. However, the capital budget deficit could grow to nearly $19 million by 2027, making the proposed changes necessary to meet community expectations.

Public Engagement and Council Approval

Residents are encouraged to read about the specifics of the proposal and submit a comment here by August 23. The site also has additional information and resources.

Council approval is required to place the issue on the ballot. Legislation will be discussed during a series of public meetings at City Hall, which will include opportunities for public comment.

In a growing city like Delaware, ensuring that residents continue to receive high-quality services without overburdening the budget is a delicate balancing act. This proposed income tax adjustment seeks to establish a permanent funding source to support various critical projects and maintain the expected level of service. The City Council, with the involvement of the citizen-led task force, has laid out a transparent and thoughtfully considered plan, now open to public scrutiny and feedback.

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Sign up here for 1808AM, our incredible weekday morning enewsletter, bringing you the latest Delaware County news -- for free!
You May Also Like

City Of Delaware Ready For The White Stuff

The Buckeye State has already seen an array of weather this month,…

Delaware Residents: Look Out For Your “Opt Out” Letter

Special to 1808Delaware City of Delaware residents beginning April 17 will receive…

Planning Commission To Consider William Street UDF

The City of Delaware Planning Commission will be considering two measures on…

City Of Delaware Shares Tax Reminders

From The City of Delaware Remember when April 15 came and went…