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January 4, 2013     Cape Gazette
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January 4, 2013

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18 FRIDAY, JANUARY 4- MONDAY, JANUARY 7, 2013 NEWS Fiscal cliff deal leaves Delaware workers paying more FEMA cuts leave Primehook aid in the air By Kara Nuzback knuzback@capegazette,com The federal government ham- mered out a deal to avoid drastic spending cuts and tax increases ]an. 1. The deal means workers were spared on income tax hikes, but Delaware workers will see an average of $13 less in each weekly paycheck. Congress's failure to vote on a bill to provide financial aid to Su- perstorm Sandy victims could al- so mean Primehook is still on hold for dune repairs. Palnll tax hike The end of the payroll-tax cut means all working Delawareans will pay more taxes in 2013, even though income tax cuts were ex- tended. According to the fiscal cliff deal, the payroll tax will rise from 4.2 percent to 6.2 percent. Households earning $50,000 annually will lose about $80 per month - more than $1,000 per year - to the 2 percent increase. According to the U.S. Depart- ment of Labor, the average week- ly wage in Sussex County is $690, or $35,880 annually; a 2 percent increase would mean about $700 per year would go to taxes. Legislators delayed a vote on sequestration, which refers to $U0 billion in spending cuts, half in defense and half in domestic programs. Congress will take up those cuts in late February, when it could vote to offset automatic cuts with other spending cuts. Primehook aid in question The original legislation that *'would have provided billions in funding for victims of Super- storm Sandy is dead. But a vote is expected on a new funding bill in the second day of the new Congress. The Senate passed a bill calling for more than $60 billion in fed- eral aid for Sandy victims; the House attempted to lower the amount to $27 billion, but never brought the bill to the floor for a vote before the end of the term. A new Congress - which began ]an. 3 - will take up the issue but will have to start the legislation from scratch. After facing harsh criticism from holding off the vote, House Speaker John Boehner has said he will hold a vote on $9 billion in Federal Emergency Manage- ment Agency flood insurance funds Jan..4. Boehner said he would then schedule a ]an. 15 vote for an additional $50 billion in funds. According to the Associated Press, New.York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Washington, D.C., West Virginia, Virginia, Mary- land, New Hampshire. Delaware, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts have so far collec- tively received $2 billion in fed- eral funds for Sandy relief; FEMA still has about $4.3 billion that can only be used for emer- gency services. Funds requested to fill the breaches at Primehook Beach could be affected. Gov. lack Markell requested $20 million in federal disaster aid to repair damages to Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge caused by the superstorm. Sandy widened the series of breaches along the coast of the Delaware Bay north of Prime- hook Beach. The storm dam- aged Prime Hook Road, the com- munity's only public access. The road reopened shortly after the storm, but some areas remain unpaved and flood easily during high tide. The U.S. Army Corps of Engi- neers partnered with Delaware Department of Natural Re- sources and Environmental Con- trol to conduct a beach replen- ishment project in February 2012 in coastal Delaware. Corps spokesman Stephen Ro- chette told the Cape Gazette in December the corps has the au- thority to restore coastal projects to pre-storm conditions at 100 percent federal cost. He said funding would depend on the ex- tent of the damages. Rochette said in a Jan. 3 email, the Army Corps has historically used funds from the Flood Con- trol and Coastal Emergencies program, not FEMA. Delaware legislators disappointed with deal Delaware's three federal legis- lators, all Democrats, were split on the vote. U.S. Sen. Tom Carper, a mem- ber of the Senate Finance Com- mittee, voted against the bill. In a statement released hours after the vote, Carper said, '"'Unfortu- nately, the deal the Senate passed this morning is not the grand bargain that I, and many of us, had hoped for, and that's why I ultimately voted against it." Carper said the plan should have done two things: Reform entitlements to preserve Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security and increase federal revenue. "In this deal, we did neither," Carper said. U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, a mem- ber of the Senate Budget Com- mittee, voted -in favor of the measure. In a ]an. 1 statement, Coons said he was dismayed the bill did not do more. "I am Cape Gazette / balanced, bipartisan deal that achieved meaningful debt and deficit reduction by sharing the sacrifice to get our nation back on solid fiscal footing," Coons said. "Instead, we got the bare minimum, which was averting an. income tax hike on middle class families, extending critical tax credits for families and business- es and ensuring unemployment insurance will be there for the thousands of Delaware families deeply disappointed in and frus- ' counting on it." trated by the failure to craft a big, Continued on page 20 Seacoast Salon Rack Up The Savings! Many Models to choose from. All including FREE delivery & FREE installation. 15% OFF Milton Continued from page 17 and I get some say in preparing the budget," he said. "Then we get to disagree about some of it. And I get to be the voice of some of the concerns in the meetings - for the roads, for what happens with the retention pond that we actually sold to Dogfish." He said once he's on council he would like to ensure Cannery Village is represented fairly with the town. Overall, he said, he's hoping to bring the council and town together. "I think it's a great little town," he said. "I think we have a lot of divisions that if we could bring some of that together, we would be a hell of a little town. I'd like to think I can contribute in some of the bringing together." Mikon's mur/icipal election to choose a mayor will be held from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, March 2, at Town Hall. The race will feature Mayor Cliff Newlands, seeking a second term, and Councilwoman Marion ]ones, Who is in the midst of her first term on council. The deadline to register to vote is Friday, Feb. 1. Eligible residents may register at Town Hall between 8:30 a.m. mad 4:30 p.m., Monday through Fri- day. Residents may also register Saturdays ]an. 19 and ]an. 26 from 8:30 a.m. to noon. To be eligible to vote, residents must be a U.S. citizen, a primary resident of Milton for at least 60 days, at least 18 years old and have no felony convictions. 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