Delaware’s budget shortfall continues to grow. Finance Secretary Rick Geisenberger tells WGMD that the Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council has taken another $9-million from the state’s available spending money for FY 2018. He says that corporate income taxes, which were due on Monday along with estimated tax payment, continue to be weak, but the biggest problem is that there’s also been tepid growth in the national economy.
Secretary Geisenberger says that Delaware isn’t alone in feeling the budget pinch as other states are also seeing double digit declines in corporate income taxes as well as other revenue items. However for Delaware, the budget process is an ongoing one – with DEFAC meeting 6 times a year while in many states, the budget review is done once at the start of the budget process. On a positive note, DEFAC saw about a $7-million increase in personal income taxes for the coming year, but it was obliterated by the $9-million drop in corporate income taxes.
Governor John Carney has been looking at ways to spur growth in the economy. He’s announced changes to DEDO and has created GEAR – the Government Efficiency Accountability Review – which is a permanent and ongoing process and will report annually to the governor and General Assembly as the budget process starts anew. Gov. Carney is also looking at proposals around the Coastal Zone Act – making it more possible for heavy industry to develop where there is already existing industry.
With just 2 more DEFAC meetings before the end of the Fiscal Year, Delaware’s budget shortfall has grown to $394-million less in First State coffers.