Delaware residents could soon be required to chip in for the cost to clean up the state’s polluted waterways.
In a report released last week by the Clean Water Task Force, which was started two years ago to research and recommend ways to improve Delaware’s water quality, the group of legislators suggested that residents be charged a clean water tax on personal income taxes and face an increase on business license fees to fund the clean up the water supply.
State officials said it will cost the state approximately $100 million per year to clean the water supply, according to a WHYY report.
According to WHYY:
“This is much more of a combination of individual households, up to no more than about $70 to $80 per year, per household and only if you basically are owing income tax. If you’re in the lower income scale and don’t owe income tax then you’re not going to be paying in. That’s the way we tried to balance it that way. Small businesses would pay about $125 to $150 a year and big businesses would pay about $500 a year,” said [State Senator Bryan] Townsend, who estimated the taxes, if passed, would cover about $20 million annually. Leverage that with federal matching funds, the state could see upwards of $60 million available for clean up.
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Townsend recently went on a statewide tour to gain support for the task force’s recommendation. He stopped at various venues across the three counties, including Dogfish Head in Milton. A clean water rally will take place June 6 at Legislative Hall in Dover.