LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Dover needs to get real on tax increase

In response to Mr. and Mrs. Alan Gaddis’ [June 24] letter “Dover made ‘brave choice’ with tax vote,” I must be frank and ask Mr. and Mrs. Gaddis what they put in their punch to write such propaganda.

Mr. and Mrs. Gaddis fail to mention in their letter how this tax increase will affect those living on limited incomes or the average taxpayer living in Dover not getting raises seen by the employees of this city.

Mr. and Mrs. Gaddis can quote numbers all day long, but the question is: what is affordable to those who live in Dover? While watching the meetings on Comcast and reading about the city budget process, I hadn’t heard anyone say anything about how they are going to bring in revenue to the city or lower spending. I just heard how they are going to spend. Where were the recommendations by the administration for new sources of revenue?

Mr. and Mrs. Gaddis may be living high on the hog in the Third District, but many of the rest of us in the city are not. What happened to a livable Dover, quoted by the mayor last year?

It’s understandable taxes must increase to retain emergency and essential service, but let’s be realistic here with this substantial tax increase. Was the fat really trimmed? The city can’t keep taxing the same old homeowners and businesses without repercussions from those who just can’t afford it. I heard the city manager say, “Oh, depending where you live, you may pay less or more in property taxes.” Is this truly fair across the board, Mr. and Mrs. Gaddis?

My property assessment went way up, and now, my taxes.

You failed to mention the $100,000 that will be paid out of the budget to an out-of-state consultant to analyze the public safety in the city. What is the matter with our own state or city personnel conducting this analysis? It will be interesting to see how the results of this play out with the unions. Another scenario on this could be — what if the consultant returns with an analysis that we are doing just fine on addressing public safety issues? Then, we just wasted $100,000 which could have been saved in this budget.

What I find most alarming that Mr. and Mrs. Gaddis failed to mention is the 3-percent increase in electricity rates and the impact this will have on our city’s major corporations (Kraft, Dover Downs, Playtex-Energizer). Wasn’t displeasure expressed by the director of the Chamber of Commerce and a Kraft representative at (a recent) council meeting?

The question is: what would happen if one or more of these corporations decided to relocate out of Dover? What devastating effect would this have on the city, Mr. and Mrs. Gaddis, or do you just not care? These corporations bring in jobs and revenue to the city. They are an integral part of the heart of this city.

Councilman Hare, Councilman Lewis and Councilman Anderson did a fine job in representing the citizens in our district by opposing the amount of the budget, plus, they came out into the neighborhoods to meet some of the people and asked our input and explained the cost factors. Did your council members come to your house in the Third District?

In closing, since Mr. and Mrs. Gaddis are such huge advocates of tax increases and wasteful spending by the administration, maybe they would like to help others pay their tax bills.

Valarie Matthews
Dover

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