Dewey Beach is defending its business license fees against a class action lawsuit.
The News Journal of Wilmington reports attorney and businessman Alex Pires filed the lawsuit against the town earlier this year. He says the town is treating its business license fee like a tax, and it is much higher than the fees nearby towns charge. Pires is asking the Chancery Court to order refunds for all the companies that paid the fee since 2007.
In response, Dewey Beach argues its charter specifically prevents only three kinds of taxes: a beach-access tax, a personal property tax or taxes on long-term apartment and condominium rentals. The town says all other taxes are fair game.
“If the all powers clause does not give the town the power to impose any tax not prohibited or limited by the Constitution, state law or other provision in the charter, why would other provisions in the charter specifically prohibit certain types of taxes?” Dewey’s memo, which was obtained by the News Journal, says.