Gross receipts tax makes sense in Dewey

July 19, 2013

I moved to Dewey Beach as a full-time resident because I just love this town. I originally vacationed here with my parents in the '60s and '70s.

I am also strongly in favor of a modest gross receipts tax on town businesses.

The town needs a regular source of revenue from all of its stakeholders. The homeowners already pay a three percent accomodations tax. The businesses currently pay so little - about $60,000 a year in total in a $2.5 million budget!

We have many unaddressed needs demanding attention, including major infrastructure improvements, upgrading and updating Town Hall and government, a reserve to protect against the next economic downturn, funds to help in case of a major storm, etc. And let's not forget the endless and frivolous lawsuits that need defending.

I like the gross receipts tax because it is designed to protect the small businesses with an exemption (that applies to all businesses so it is fair) of $200,000 (it could be more) and is simple. The tax would be due three months after the end of the calendar year and paid just once a year. No complex enforcement, no extensive daily recordkeeping as would be required if we had a license fee based on the number of patrons. And the pending proposal would include a referendum so the people would decideit would enable the town businesses to pay their fair share.

I urge the town council to pass this proposal at its next meeting, Friday, July 19, so we can move on and focus on needed town improvements.

Karen Jacoby
Dewey Beach

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