Fixing our city’s streets and alleys will cost money that the bare bones city budget can’t support. After researching the matter, I offer my own ideas for increasing revenue for street repairs.
A five-year, 2-mill dedicated (can only be used for streets) property tax can be put on the ballot for next spring’s primary election. The $500,000 annual revenue from the levy could be used to secure a $2 million or more bond or note to finance a one time citywide repair-repaving project that would get us back on a normal maintenance schedule, wherein normal budgeting could pay the maintenance bill. After the five years, the levy will expire no matter what council does. The purpose of the one time mass repair is to get more bang for the buck. The bigger the project the cheaper the cost per mile. A half mile this year and a half mile next year is a very inefficient method.
A 2-mill levy would cost the average Wilmington home owner less than $6 per month. Most senior homeowners would pay $4 per month. Some are suggesting a quarter percent, non-dedicated income tax levy that would generate over $1 million per year and cost a family with a $60,000 taxable income, $13 per month.