• Gordon’s 12th budget with no tax hike, handles 4 percent growth with available funds
  • 15+ police officers, massive sewer improvements, finishing Route 9 Library & Innovation Center
  • Only administration ever to achieve & maintain highest AAA bond ratings 

New Castle County’s budget for Fiscal 2017, adopted May 24 with County Council’s full support, represents a 4-percent growth from the current fiscal year, but continues County Executive Thomas P. Gordon’s historic record of fiscal responsibility.

He was the only two-term executive of New Castle County never to submit a budget plan with a tax increase. And when he was re-elected, becoming New Castle County’s only three-term executive in history, Gordon remained a record-setter by continuing to avoid a tax hike.

Twelve years of avoiding increases in taxes took determination and cooperation.

Gordon has
focused on restructuring and streamlining, removing duplication, eliminating many positions and centralizing services – also creating a record surplus in his first term. He also clarified billing so residents could see their exact county and school taxes separately. In his second term, Gordon set and achieved an unprecedented fiscal goal, leading the county to the highest AAA bond rating by all top three Wall Street rating agencies.

As recession hit between Gordon’s terms, real estate transfer taxes collected by the county fell from $40 million a year to $15.8 million with property taxes flat at about $106 million.

After Gordon was re-elected, returning to office in 2012, he
pressed department leaders to economize, increase efficiency and justify every cost. With frugality, emphasis on economic development and the recovering economy, the county has seen a slow, steady climb in real estate taxes and transfer tax recovery to a level shy of $27 million.

Gordon has kept the county’s AAA ratings while balancing the budget, which includes funding to add 15 police officers as well as other important investments:

  • $21.3 million for sewer system rehabilitation and $1 million for storm-water basin renovations,
  • $7.5 million to complete the Route 9 Innovation Center & Library at a total $30.4 million cost,
  • A 3 percent increase to $4.2 million for volunteer fire companies,
  • Funding for $2.7 million in ongoing improvements at the popular and historic Glasgow Park,
  • $2.4 million for contractual libraries in Wilmington, Delaware City, New Castle and Odessa
  • Upgrades for public safety radio communication costing $1.5 million,
  • More than $1 million the state now charges the county  for a year of dog control,
  • $1 million to rehabilitate county-owned, historic buildings on the Bechtel and Jester Farms,
  • Funding of another $1 million for the Wiggins Mill Park site near Townsend,
  • $500,000 for rehabilitation of local parks, playgrounds and game courts.