DuPont voters will decide in November whether to pay more in property taxes to pay the debt on three civic buildings and keep three firefighters on the job.
The City Council voted Tuesday night to send the measure to the ballot. The vote was 6-1; councilman Roger Westman voted no out of concern about the amount of the proposed increase.
The measure would increase DuPont’s property tax levy from $1.16 per $1,000 of assessed value to more than $2.13 for seven years. Property owners also now pay a levy of 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed value for emergency medical response.
If the measure passes, the owner of a $233,000 home – the average price in DuPont this year – will pay $227 more in property taxes to the city.
City officials had expected that tax revenue from home sales would be sufficient to repay the money borrowed to build the new City Hall and police and fire station. The buildings opened three years ago. But the collapse of the housing market and weak economy left the city short of the money make those payments.
In addition, a federal grant has paid for the three firefighters at a cost of $300,000 a year, but it expires next year. Losing them would drop the minimum firefighters on duty each shift to two from three, officials said.