- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 26, 2014

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Mayor Dennis Williams is proposing a 9.9 percent property tax hike as part of his budget proposal.

Williams said Tuesday that he expects the increase to generate an estimated $3.6 million annually to cover rising costs in employee payroll and benefits, animal control and debt payments. Williams presents his tax proposal and budget plan to the city council on Thursday.

He says the increase is needed to avoid a $1 million deficit that likely would trigger layoffs.

The proposal would increase the property tax rate to $1.942 per $100 of assessed value. It would mean the annual payment for the owner of a home assessed at $44,900, Wilmington’s average, would increase from $793 to $871.

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