Cheswold mulls waiving taxes for council members

CHESWOLD — An idea to consider waiving Town of Cheswold council members’ municipal tax obligations as a form of compensation has been floated in the Kent County community.

Vice Mayor Larence Kirby clarified this week that the possibility “came from a brain storming session, as someone thought other municipalities utilized compensation.” The topic appeared on the Nov. 5 regular meeting agenda posted online at cheswold.delaware.gov.

Council members are not currently paid for their duties as elected officials.

Mr. Kirby declined to discuss any potential plan since it’s currently just a “recommendation” and far from coming to fruition, if it ever does. The concept has not been officially proposed or voted on.

“This was a recommendation that hasn’t been seriously considered by the council,” Mr. Kirby said. “If it is officially proposed and voted on, then I can provide comments, but I won’t comment on a recommendation.”

The agenda item was listed under “old business” and described as a “pending project.” It was categorized as a potential town charter update to add Section 6.7 – Compensation to Elected Officials.

The section read – “Compensation to Elected Officials The Mayor, Vice-Mayor, Secretary/Treasurer and three, (3), Councilpersons, (as applicable), serving as the members of the Town Council shall be compensated for their service/s to the Town by having their Town taxes waived for the period that such persons serve as members of the Town Council.

“A period shall be equivalent to a two-year elected or Council appointed term. The tax waiver shall cease upon a majority vote of the Town Council or should Town finances require the waiver to cease as evidenced by a General Fund balance of $100,000, as reported by the Secretary/Treasurer.”

This week, Mr. Kirby noted that the issue “will be discussed publicly, after research, to determine if it’s a viable option, as we don’t want to appear ‘self-serving.’”

Mr. Kirby said “No timetable was discussed.”

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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