State revenue estimate rises by $66 million

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The Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council forecast a $66 million increase in estimated revenues.

The December forecast is used to calculate the governor’s proposed budget for fiscal 2020.

Gov. John Carney is expected to follow the principles contained in House Bill 460, whichplaces a limit on spending growth and setting aside a portion of the surplus into a Budget Reserve Account.

Carney and legislators from both parties supported the bill that would employ the “budget smoothing” process that aims to avoid large tax hikes during periods when state revenues drop.

The General Assembly’s Joint Finance Committee typically uses the governor’s budget proposal as a starting point in developing a sending plan.

“However, since key Democratic House and Senate leaders blocked the passage of the HB 460 spending reforms earlier this year, it remains to be seen if the Democratic-controlled JFC will be guided by the governor’s recommendations in the upcoming cycle,” a release from the House Republican Caucus stated.

A handful of Democrats have opposed the legislation, claiming it is a backdoor way to cut services to the poor. They have instead pushed for an income tax on high-income families in the state.

The move was also viewed by some observers as legislators reminding Carney that they remain in control of the state’s finances.

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