A Delaware City Council member wants to ensure that future council members do not borrow against an income tax increase approved in 2008.
Council member Andrew Brush has proposed the city place a referendum on the ballot that would provide city residents with the ability to allow a 0.15 percent income tax increase to expire in the year in which bonds totaling $23.8 million are paid in full.
The income tax increase was approved by voters in 2008 to pay for park improvements, including the construction of the YMCA.
However, Brush is concerned that a future council could take out additional bonds against the income tax increase.
“What this aims to do is essentially bound future councils to the original intent of the levy,” he said.
But the city’s bond counsel, Chris Franzmann, is concerned such an unprecedented move could have unintended consequences.
He told city officials that the move could scare off future investors in the city’s bonds.
City Attorney Darren Shulman also pointed out there is nothing to stop a future council from overturning the will of the voters if they did elect to allow the income tax increase to expire.
“If it’s been voted on by the public, it significantly raises the political cost of doing something like that,” Brush said.
Council will continue to consider the proposal.
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