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Wilmington considers upping property tax

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WILMINGTON -- The city of Wilmington is facing a budget challenge. The solution city officials have come up with is to hike up the cost of living here. After a tax rate error the city is facing a $6 million deficit. And when you add that to the hurting economy, the city has to make up some cash -- and fast. Attention all homeowners: your property tax may be going up, and the city says, the county is to blame. Wilmington Communications Manager Melissa Talbert said, "Largely because of a miscalculation by the county of a tax rate, we have to bring our tax rate back up to where it was before the mistake." The state mandates the city review its budget around this time every year, and low and behold, the city is over $6 million. To compensate for this deficit the city is proposing a fourteen percent property tax increase. Local homeowners are not happy. Homeowner Thurman Burgess said, "I don't want to pay tax period." Burgess's family has been living and paying taxes in Wilmington for more than 100 years. Whatever the city decides, he wants to make sure the right people are paying the right amount. Burgess said, "If I can be assured that this money will be distributed and used equitably among all the citizens of Wilmington I would gladly pay the fourteen percent." The city hasn't had to raise taxes in over five years. The 14 percent increase would also help fund city vehicles and salary increases for some city employees. Officials also hope to use the money to widen Independence Boulevard and to maintain streets and sidewalks. The tax increase will be briefly discussed at the City Council meeting Tuesday. The actual vote will not take place until June. We'll keep you posted.

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Budget Shortfall

Good comments from everyone, but lets rewind to January 2008. The entire reported miscalculation was 7.5 million dollars and only 3.5 million was the city's, my I guess with the cost of everything going up 3.5 million has now become 6.5 million, or have they slipped a few pet projects in???? Hmmmmmm

budget challenge

It is time for the city and County to do what I have to do when I am faced with a budget challenge. That is to reduce spending and to cut back on unnecessary projects. We the tax payer can’t go to our employer and tell them that we are having a problem with our budget and they WILL give us more money. How much money has been wasted with the building of the convention center? How much overtime was paid for the Police and Sheriff’s to control traffic and security for Commissioning Ceremony for the elite. I wish someone would look into what it cost the tax payers for this.. Cut cost and not raise taxes is the answer.

No...

"Wilmington Communications Manager Melissa Talbert said, "Largely because of a miscalculation by the county of a tax rate, we have to bring our tax rate back up to where it was before the mistake."" Melissa, No, you don't have to bring the tax rate back up. Eliminate the studies, fluff, and wasteful spending. We, the taxpayers, should not have to bear the burden of mistakes made by either the County or the City. If you, your staff, the mayor and council want to see an angry mob...raise the tax. Just remember WHO it is that put the Council members in office...the same ones who can remove them.

Keep raising taxes each year

Keep raising taxes each year and sooner or later no one will be able to pay...then where will they be? Once they drive the retirees out of here, then they'll be stuck with us plain old working class folks...once again :-)

Shouldn't the headline read

Shouldn't the headline read "Wilmington residents consider shooting City Council"?

budget challenge

It is time for the city and county to do what I do when I have a budget challenge.... That is to reduce spending.. Why to they think it is fair to raise taxes? I wish I could tell my employer that I had a budget challenge and I was going to make him increase my salary.. How much did it cost the tax payers this past weekend for the Sub commissioning that only the elite of the area was able to go? I am sure there was overtime cost for the Police and Sheriff’s Department protection..

Taxes

Someone has to pay for the soccer fields, convention center and tax giveaways to companies, among many other things that doesn't help the majority of the citizens.

the only way

of course the only way is to hand it off to the home owners, no other possible solution can be found???? maybe cut off some of those gas cards for city employees? drive older cars with good maintainence, cut some of the perks and benefits,maybe some closer scrutiny of where the money really goes would give some answers as to where the money has gone and is going. seems like the solution is always to hand it off to those who are blessed enough to actually own something until they have to loose it because of the taxes. hey, then maybe the city could buy it with their budget tax dollars. there is an idea!!

Here's a novel idea

If you're $6 million over budget, CUT $6 million from your expenditures. Anyone who says that it can't be done hasn't looked at the city budget. There's a LOT of fat that could be trimmed. You could start with that nonsensical convention center....

Property ownership in the city is it really worth it?

Well I must say me being a commercial property owner In the City In my opinion is not worth it anymore since the city tries to rape the business man/property owner at every angle first the 14% property tax increase and then the 2% commercial storm Water increase which is paid quarterly that sure adds up to quite a chunk of change every year not to mention the county taxes and school taxes that still need to be paid every year no wonder everyone is trying to move out of the city.