DOVER, Del., - New Castle County Executive Thomas P. Gordon thanked the Delaware General Assembly and the Joint Finance Committee for deciding to restore the county’s, and other municipalities’, share of the real estate transfer tax.
County Executive Gordon also thanked CAO David Grimaldi, New Castle County Council, public sector labor unions, and other municipalities throughout the state for rallying together to protect the local government share of the transfer tax. For New Castle County in particular, the move would have cut about $10 million in revenue and caused subsequent cuts to vital positions within the police, paramedic, and 911 call operator ranks, not to mention drastic cuts in library services.
On the final day of the legislative session, the Joint Finance Committee voted to remove a provision to increase the state’s share from the current 50/50 split of the RTT. This 3 percent tax is levied upon the sale of real estate in New Castle, Kent, and Sussex counties and other municipalities. The provision would have given the State 2 percent of this tax, with 1 percent going to local municipalities instead of the traditional, 1.5 percent split.
County Executive Gordon, CAO Grimaldi, Deputy CAO Samuel Guy, county lobbyist Bob Jameson, Councilwoman Janet Kilpatrick, and Councilman John Cartier traveled together to the state capital Tuesday for the final legislative session of the General Assembly. Council President Chris Bullock and President Pro Tem Penrose Hollins joined the County Executive and CAO in Dover the previous week, along with Councilwoman Kilpatrick.
“We thank Rep. Melanie George Smith, chairwoman of the Joint Finance Committee for their willingness to listen to our concerns,” County Executive Gordon said. “It was a fight for our future and I was extremely proud of how County Government came together.
“I want to acknowledge CAO David Grimaldi, who worked around the clock and was relentless in defending the future of NCC. He centralized communications and, within days, organized a state wide coalition of elected officials, along with various labor, progressive and business groups,” added the County Executive. “Jobs have been saved, tax hikes and service cuts avoided.”
“We couldn’t have done this without the leadership of County Executive Gordon and County Council along with the support of organized labor. We are extremely grateful for Rep. Melanie George Smith and members of the Joint Finance Committee, who took the time to listen to us,” said CAO David Grimaldi.
In addition to lobbying, County Executive Gordon and Council President Christopher Bullock published an op-ed piece in The News Journal, CAO Grimaldi was interviewed on WDEL, and a joint press release from the Executive and the Council President was sent out by Director of Communications Tony Prado, Council Policy Director Jim Boyle, and New Castle County Police Public Information Officer Tom Jackson late Friday night.
Tuesday, Americans for Democratic Action, AFSCME Council 81, and other individuals and groups showed up at Legislative Hall to make their voices heard as well on the most important day of the legislative session.