LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Concern for Dover taxpayers

In regard to our recent City Council meetings, I appreciate my fellow councilmembers’ hard work in decreasing [the increase in] the proposed FY-16 budget from 24 percent down to 19.9 percent, but I believe this is still not enough of a decrease. I applaud my esteemed colleague Councilman David Anderson for proposing an alternative budget that will not increase taxes by more than 5.5 cents at the June 3 meeting and support his cost-saving initiatives 100 percent. [“Dover council to hike city’s property tax,” article, June 4]

Brian E. Lewis

Brian E. Lewis

For the record, I am in favor of increasing our police manpower to ensure public safety with growing concerns in the city. I am for repairing our infrastructure. My concern lies with the other proposals in the budget, I believe there are things in the budget that can wait another year or other alternatives can be used. I don’t believe these other listed budget items are going to shut the city of Dover down.

I recently went out and spoke to some of my constituents in the 2nd District and asked them what they would like to see in the 2016 budget. Many, of course, told me they “couldn’t afford a property-tax increase in this current economy.” Some were senior citizens on fixed incomes; one was the wife whose husband just lost his job; another was the son of a terminally ill mother who stated they owed $50,000 in medical bills, just to name a few. These are the local people that I represent.

I told many of my constituents whom I spoke with that the truth of the matter is that there has to be a tax increase for essential services in this city, but what I didn’t tell them was that it was going to be 19.9 percent, which, at this time, is way too much for many taxpayers, taking into account our economic woes.

One of my constituents even asked me if my fellow councilmen, the mayor and I would be willing to give up our salaries for one year to offset any immense tax increase.

At this point, I cannot support a 19.9-percent tax increase and must be mindful of my constituents’ concerns; after all, they are who I represent.

Brian E. Lewis
City Councilman, 2nd District
Dover

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