Letter to the Editor: Why benefit just DE Turf?

Dear Sen. Paradee and Rep. Lynn:

Why are you so active in giving away money to DE Turf per Senate Bill 178?

This legislation you introduced is to tax all hotel visitors to Kent County up to 3% for the sole purpose of funding DE Turf activities. Why just this organization when we have so many other organizational needs in the county?

Why a yearlong tax increase as opposed to a seasonal or event targeted tax when DE Turf is in use? Why should families who are visiting service members, who are in town for graduations, funerals, weddings, etc. contribute to a tax only benefiting DE Turf?

It is estimated that $950,000 a year would be given to this non-public body with no public or governmental oversight. You could have given part of the money to Dover Downs to expand their marketing and tournament efforts or to homeless efforts, etc.

The original feasibility study (May 12, 2016) estimated on Page 102 that the total operating expenses (including all salaries, tournament expenses, etc.) would be $1,329,948 and this would produce an operating revenue of $2,436,391. Why now does this organization need an additional $950,000 a year when its own consultants estimated almost a $1 million surplus alone in 2019? Its board of directors claim the complex is widely successful. Will they need an additional 8% tax handout in three years? They were wrong in the last three years.

Are all its numbers bad? Why did you introduce this legislation on June 25 without opportunity for open public and legislative discussion so late in the session? It looks bad. It smells bad!

At a minimum, you should introduce new legislation that should demand a full public review of all DE Turf finances before they receive any new tax generated money, and an audit be conducted by the State Auditor’s Office. If the tax is implemented by Kent County, all the revenue should be allocated without predetermination of recipient.

Thomas Pledgie

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