Wilmington residents may have to dig a little deeper in their wallets in order to pay their property taxes next year.
On Tuesday, Wilmington Mayor Dennis Williams talked about raising property taxes during an interview on WDEL. Williams will officially propose his 2015 Fiscal Year operating budget to City Council later this week.
“There’ll be a 9.9 percent tax increase for us to continue services in the city of Wilmington. If we don’t do this we’ll have a million dollar deficit and services will have to be cut,” Williams said during the broadcast.
Impact on residents
What does this increase mean for the average homeowner? According to the Williams administration, the tax hike means the average Wilmington homeowner will pay an additional $6.54 each month.
Although the city’s proposed property tax hike is something that residents may not welcome, city officials said that the increase is necessary and could help to prevent the layoff of city employees.
“The decision to raise the property tax was very difficult and one Mayor Williams did not take lightly,” said Alexandra Coppadge, spokesperson for Williams.
Coppadge attributed the hike to uncontrollable costs such as debt service on capital projects, pensions and pension healthcare. In addition, increased animal control costs and mandated salary increases were factors.
Last year, Williams proposed a $146 million operating budget. As a result, Wilmington residents avoided property tax increases as well as city layoffs, but experienced a 12 percent hike in water and sewer rates.
Williams will deliver his FY 2015 budget proposal at the Louis Redding Building on Thursday at 6pm.