DE Legislation Sparking Concern, Controversy In Dewey Beach - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

DE Legislation Sparking Concern, Controversy In Dewey Beach

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DEWEY BEACH, Del. - A new bill in Delaware is creating concerns for Dewey Beach officials.

House Bill 333, sponsored by Representative Pete Schwartzkopf (D-Rehoboth), requires that town taxes carry a three-fifths vote in the house to become part of the town charter, a requirement he says is just a clarification of the current law.

However, Dewey Beach Mayor Diane Hanson says it strips the town of its "all-powers" clause, which gives them the ability tax. Another major concern, the legislation contains a clause that would limit towns' ability to license or collect fees, which Mayor Hanson says could take away $250,000 of income.

Respresentative Schwartzkopf says his attorney was the one that made the decision to add that additional clause, and he plans to make an amendment that would remove that part of the legislation. He says the rest of the legislation should not cause any controversy.

"This is the general assembly's intent, and the intent is to maintain providence over taxation, and if you don't have it you have to go through us to get it done," says Representative Schwartzkopf. "That's what the law is now, that's what it's always been."

Mayor Hanson says she thinks Schwartzkopf introduced the bill due to a Chancery Court ruling in favor of the town to collect an annual­ business license fee.

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