Del. Legislation Would Direct Surplus State Funds To Adults & Children


A gas tax holiday does not look possible in Delaware, but several Republican lawmakers are proposing to allow each Delawarean to get a share of the state’s growing revenue surplus.
GOP lawmakers Monday said they are floating a proposal to direct about $100-million from the budget surplus and provide $100 rebates to every Delaware adult and child.

“This is a responsible one-time distribution of surplus money that will not have any ongoing obligation for the state and will not impact future revenue streams,” House Minority Whip Tim Dukes, R-Laurel said. “It also amounts to less than one-eighth of the current surplus, providing state lawmakers with plenty of remaining flexibility to consider other proposals.”

“This proposal is consistent with what our members have been proposing since early last year,” House Minority Leader Danny Short, R-Seaford said. “Our state experienced huge revenue surpluses last year, without enacting any significant tax reduction measures. We have again been gifted with large surpluses in the current fiscal year. There is simply no excuse for not moving forward with targeted tax cuts and rebates, returning some of this excess cash to our citizens.”

According to Short and Dukes, under Title 30, § 5110(c) of the Delaware Code, the gas tax cannot be decreased while there are outstanding bonds being repaid with the revenue.

“I would have liked to have suspended the fuel tax from now through the July 4th Weekend, but Delaware law will not allow it,” Short said.  “While it can be argued we could suspend or change the law, I do not think undermining sound fiscal policy is prudent.”

The bill is being circulated for sponsorship this week. The legislation would direct the Delaware Division of Revenue to develop a plan to carry out an “equitable and rapid distribution of the designated rebate within 30 business days of the measure being enacted.”