Speak Out: DE Turf controversy

A public forum held Thursday night by the DE Turf sports complex’s management to discuss the proposed Kent County lodging tax drew several dozen attendees to Polytech High School, where more than 20 attendees voiced support and opposition for the plan.

At issue was the recently passed state legislation that allows Kent County to institute an up to 3 percent lodging tax — on top of the state’s existing 8 percent tax — with the revenue collected going to the Kent County Regional Sports Complex Corp., a nonprofit that operates DE Turf. A countywide 3 percent lodging tax would bring in an estimated $950,000 annually, according to DE Turf leadership.

•If you are operating at a profit and generated an additional $31 million in local spending last year, why can’t that be enough? Rather than giving tax money to a private company that is already profitable, why not use this new income to house the homeless and help the people who truly need it? Use your heads and your hearts Levy Court. Keep remembering those words you uttered when this project began. “Not a single dime of taxpayer funds will be used to support this venture.” — Bob Skuse

• How can a tax-free business supported by government indicate that they are operating at a profit? Remember folks this is a 501 agency. No tax support please. —Timmy Harmon

• No public money. And their policies should allow players and their families to stay in Sussex County with no penalty — such as the preferred location for several families of Causey Mansion in Milford, about 300 feet across the Sussex County line and less than nine miles from the complex! — Peggy Schmidt

• I don’t see why they can’t just get a “referral fee” from hotel stays when an individual books a room for a local event held at the hotel. I know when I would travel with my son and daughter’s teams, there would be certain hotels that if we called and said we were attending an event, they would have a block of rooms available to us. If a hotel is willing to set these rooms aside for DE Turf events, then DE Turf should get a referral fee from the hotel for advertising their service. Why should my family member who comes to visit me have to pay for a fee for a facility they will never use?— Sandy Evans Primo

• Usually hotels offer a better rate for an event or group to be directed to a particular hotel. Its not common for them to get a higher rate. Who would admit to be part of a group if it meant they paid more? — Christopher Foxwell

• Oh! I get it. For a hamburger today, they will gladly pay for two tomorrow. Perfect. — Frederick Tate

• So increased competition from more complexes will just raise the bid fees. Then what? — Pete Parks

• Starting to sound like New Jersey. Taxes, fees, etc. Somebody taking lessons from (Gov.) Phil Murphy? — Mark Breckwoldt

Should have never put a sports complex there if Delaware taxes have to support it. Most of the people who use it are out of state. — Travis Rust

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