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Lewes, Delaware
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June 20, 1997     Cape Gazette
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June 20, 1997

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CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, June 20- June 26, 1997- 19 Bunting, Schroeder 1o( I at last minute legislative questions By Rosanne Pack With only four scheduled days left in the legislative session, some major issues still have elect- ed officials shaking their heads and wondering which direction the political winds will blow. Looking at a last-minute pro- posal for the state to take over a statewide property reassessment project, and at the remaining ques- tions regarding where a projected revenue surplus will settle out, area legislators Sen. George Bunting and Rep. John Schroeder acknowledge that they are just two more players in the guessing Arrests Continued from page 18 meanor theft. Little and Watson were remanded to Stevenson House in default of $23,000 se- cured bond, and VanSciver was released to the custody of his par- ents. According to Ray Quillen, Fam- ily Court deputy director in Sus- sex County, during an appearance in Family Court on Wednesday, June 18, VanSciver pleaded not guilty. He was remanded to Stevenson House in default of $20,000 secured bond, pending a July 14 trial. Little pleaded guilty to one game. One thing they agree on is that the introduction of H.B. 345, the statewide reassessment pro- posal, comes to the playing field very late. A product of the Carper admin- istration, the bill is intended to generate action on getting re- assessments done in each county by jumping the cost hurdle that has stalled progress in the coun- ties. Representatives of each county had pushed for significant state funding if they were to carry out reassessments. In Sussex County, Robert Stickels, county administrator, had even suggested I I [ count of second degree burglary, said Quillen. His sentence of commitment to Ferris School was suspended, and he is on one year's probation with the following con- ditions: he must receive counsel- ing, participate in a drug and alco- hol evaluation, pay his share of restitution on all of the original charges, maintain good behavior in the community, cooperate with his probation officer and obey the rules and regulations of his house- hold. Watson pleaded guilty to sec- ond degree burglary and the felony theft charges, and his sen- tence was deferred. He was re-de- tained at Stevenson House, pend- ing sentencing. No date for the sentencing has been set. I I WINNERS BUFFET s4 FEAST Ill  To enjoy the new Winners Buffet for only $4, present  this coupon and your Blue Diamond Club card at the m jjllP Winners Circle Dining Room. lfyouarenotaChb - La' Member, stop by the Blue Diamond Club and join today, m  Membetship is free.You must be 21to join. Limit one coqx Iler pera. (',qxm valid !t&',nd dwu "llmm I I am-Spin and Se 'IlU Ia  ltl  lump- nooSln only. Akoholic hcwrage and iratmW are nt included. I id with any ROUTI}.DOVER. DE*I,.O-?II-'BZ Odltdi$ct,lnLOftrerircs(O/9?. I / kJI C'r'l m vi Ideq' 9mm : b/I Ddv"em L You total be 211    1 -ieesoemzr.oloo.,lr.apd,,o.o...N. CG mllllmlmllmm that school districts kick in to help pay for the reassessment since they would be a beneficiary of an increase in property taxes. The estimated cost of a statewide reassessment is $15 mil- lion. Property assessments were last done in Sussex County in 1974, and there is no estimate of how much. Taxes will rise or fall in a new assessment. "I suggest that it is too late to be acted on in this session, anyway," said Schroeder (D-Lewes). "Maybe it was introduced with the intent of getting the idea out in the open. Between now and the next session, there could be discussion, and perhaps even public hearings on the proposal." The representative added, "Per- sonally, I have a lot of questions. Why should the governor be able to mandate that the counties re- assess? The counties have the obligation to assess and to collect. Shouldn't it be their decision on whether or rmt they reassess?" Bunting (D-Bethany Beach) said that he is not sure what will be accomplished by reassess- ment. "Are we truly going to get fair- ness? I am concerned about my district; when you go east of U.S. 113, there might be a dramatic in- crease in assessed value and then in taxes," he said. "Many of my constituents are already burdened with costs of sewer districts, and now a reassessment could bring them higher taxes. "I think we will spend a lot of money to try to create equity, and I'm not sure that it can be achieved. What will people gain in services if their taxes in- creaseY' Since the bill was only intro- duced on Wednesday, June 18, neither elected official was too sure where the funding for re- assessment would come from. Schroeder offered the guess that it would come from some of the $100 million surplus projected for state revenues in the next two years. "There are a lot of ideas on the table for where that money can go," he said. "Some of it may go to pay off some transportation de- partment debts and some one time projects because we don't know if these revenues will continue at this rate. "What we do know is that we don't want a gas tax increase or increases in registration fees or dock fees to pay off the DelDOT debts." Bunting agreed that one time projects are a likely destination for revenue surplus, however, he is concerned that kind of doling out of funds could fall into the po- litical patronage category. Continued on page 21 I I That is, unless you have a Rate Enhancer CD from County Bank. Who m you don't get a aecond chance? With the gae O) fiem Cotm Bank,  get a great interat rate m beKm with. "rhen. if that rate talm a tam for the better, you have the option m 'mhan" and lock in at the higher mteI And ar rate ma be  not orate, but twi. Ifs m),. Jtm: invest $$,000 or mot, daen : b md watrh Wa-  . Our 2 m 5 War Rate Enhan,e CD is FDIC tmered up to $100,0130. Je: anod  avemmmt qpcommiw   .......... L ......................................................... m_ ._l_._ ounty i anl00 302 222 9,, 302n. -92773 30d24.,2500