$7M Capital Issue: Possible Deficit For Dover In Next 5 Years - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

$7M Capital Issue: Possible Deficit For Dover In Next 5 Years

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DOVER, Del. - The outside world is preparing for a new year.

But inside Dover City Hall, council is preparing for the next five. According to city projections, over the next five years, Dover would be in a seven-million dollar hole. City council president David Bonar says he and other city officials are working now to balance the budget.

Bonar told WMDT if the problem isn't fixed the city could go bankrupt within the next five to eight years.   

"Absolutely nothing is off the table," said Bonar. "We've gotten to the point where we must raise revenues in order to the balance the budget."

Bonar says changes could range from outsourcing trash collection to raising property tax rates. According to the Delaware Economic Development Office's 2013-14 state property tax rates, Dover's rate is less than 34 cents per $100 assessments, compared to next-door Camden at a $1.42. In Sussex County, Georgetown is more than three dollars, while Delmar sits at 52 cents.

Facing the $7 million deficit over the next several years is going to require some out-of-the-box thinking," said Bonar.

Veronica Grady of Dover says she would not "love to see a tax increase, but I think we need to look at where we can cut back."

Whether it's Dover or Detroit, governments have got to get their finances under control. We'll balance [the budget]," said Bonar.

A new budget for next year must be passed by July 1st. Councilman and former Major James Hutchinson Sr. is leading an ad hoc committee, which Bonar says is looking into the city's operations and possible cut backs.

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