Bill seeks to clarify local taxing authority

A bill clarifying the ability of Delaware municipalities to raise taxes has been cleared for a vote in the state House.

The bill released by a House committee Wednesday was prompted by issues in Dewey Beach, which was sued by business owners last year over its business license fees.

The bill makes clear that a municipality cannot impose a tax unless that tax is expressly authorized by the General Assembly in approving the local government's charter.

The Dewey Beach lawsuit claimed that the town's fees exceed the cost of administering the business licenses, and thus amounted to taxes the town is not authorized to levy.

But in a December ruling now being appealed, a judge said the town charter as approved by the legislature gives Dewey officials broad taxing authority.






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