New Castle County Council unanimously approved a 2015 Fiscal Year operating budget of $255.7 million with no tax increase for the 10th time in 10 years that County Executive Tom Gordon has been in office.
The FY 2015 operating budget, approved at Tuesday night’s meeting, represents an increase in spending of 2.8 percent. County Executive Gordon said increased revenue forecasts in the real estate transfer tax and vacant positions in County Government would fund the increase.
“When it comes to a tax increase, the answer is always no,” the Executive said. “This is not the time to raise people’s taxes anywhere, and I appreciate County Council’s wisdom in realizing that a lean and efficient government is the way to go.”
County Council amended the Executive’s proposed budget by adding $1.24 million to the total amount in order to accommodate the Fraternal Order of Police’s new contract. That contract includes the addition of the position of Master Corporal and a few pay grade increases.
County Council also made other amendments to the budget, creating them after weekly Finance Committee meetings held since County Executive Gordon’s budget address on March 25.
Council members, including Finance Committee Chairman Councilman George Smiley and Councilwoman Janet Kilpatrick, said this year’s budget process was amicable and productive.
Council also approved an amended 2015 Capital Budget of $58.4 million for major capital, construction projects in the County. The amendment reduced this budget by $1,279,000 prior to passage.