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Wilmington City Council Unveils FY2025 Budget: Rate Hikes, Strategic Investments, and No Property Tax Increase

June 6, 2024

Wilmington, DE – Several members of the Wilmington City Council came together to hold a press conference on Thursday, June 6, 2024, in front of the Louis L. Redding City County Building. The purpose of this press conference was to discuss the recently approved Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 Budget, which included a 5.8% increase in Water Sewer rates and a 4% increase in stormwater rates for City residents, while notably excluding any increase in Property Tax.

The FY2025 Budget reflected the Council’s commitment to the residents of Wilmington and their well-being through strategic planning and fiscal responsibility.

Chairman Chris Johnson delivers remarks during a FY2025 Budget recap on Thursday, June 6, 2024; at Louis L. Redding City County Building in Wilmington, DE. Photo By Saquan Stimpson

Key Highlights of the FY2025 Budget:


The budget doubled the funding for the HBCU Foundation from $100,000 to $200,000, reinforcing the Council’s dedication to promoting diversity and excellence in higher education.


An allocation of $100,000 for a pilot program to implement traffic calming devices highlighted the Council’s proactive approach to traffic safety, ensuring the protection of all residents and visitors in Wilmington.

**Neighborhood Stabilization:**

The transfer to the Neighborhood Stabilization Fund increased from $1 million to $2.5 million. This included $1.5 million for the Home Repair Program, which would be distributed through a lottery system, aiming to empower residents and strengthen communities across the city.

Vice Chair Michelle Harlee delivers remarks during a FY2025 Budget recap on Thursday, June 6, 2024; at Louis L. Redding City County Building in Wilmington, DE. Photo By Saquan Stimpson

**Economic Development:**

To support minority-owned businesses, $350,000 was allocated to the Economic Strategic Fund for the Minority Business Development Program, underscoring the Council’s commitment to fostering an inclusive and thriving economy.

**Utility/Water Assistance:**

Funding for the Utility Assistance Program increased from $250,000 to $350,000, providing vital support to residents facing financial hardships and ensuring access to essential utilities.

**Water/Sewer Increases:**

City Council successfully negotiated adjustments to the water and sewer rate increases, reducing the proposed rate increase from 9.0% to 5.8%, and the stormwater rate increase from 6.0% to 4.0%. These adjustments represented the Council’s effort to balance fiscal responsibility with equitable access to essential services. For an average residential customer with a 5/8-inch meter and 4,000 gallons monthly consumption, this resulted in an additional $3.86 monthly increase.

“This budget reflects City Council’s commitment to our fiscal responsibility and investment in the future of our communities and city,” said Finance and Economic Development Committee Vice Chairman Michelle Harlee, of the 4th District. “It will allow us to continue providing essential services, supporting economic growth, and enhancing the quality of life for all residents. I am confident that these strategic allocations will help us achieve our goals as we continue to move our city forward.”

Council members were available to discuss these budgetary decisions and address any questions from the media.

**About Wilmington City Council:**

The Wilmington City Council is dedicated to serving the residents of Wilmington through transparent governance and strategic planning, ensuring a prosperous, safe, and vibrant community for all.