A plan to send $300 to each Delaware taxpayer this spring was announced Thursday.
The plan comes as the state sees a $1 billion surplus at a time when gas and other prices have risen sharply.
Caucuses in both parties agreed in principal to support the bill, which would send $300 in direct payments to every Delawarean who filed a 2020 tax return, the most recent tax year where returns are available.
Legislation is expected to be introduced during the upcoming session break and considered when the General Assembly returns in April.
“Like most of the country, Delaware has weathered a difficult storm during the pandemic. Our economic recovery has been strong in many ways, but it has also slammed residents with new challenges of increasing costs in almost every facet of their life. Delawareans emerging from the pandemic are facing higher prices at the grocery store, at the gas pump, and for many of the goods and services they rely on every day,” said House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, my colleagues and I in the General Assembly have fought to help Delaware families struggling to keep food on their tables and roofs over their heads, strengthen our economy and chart a path of recovery and progress,” Senate President Pro Tempore Sen. Dave Sokola said. “We have raised the minimum wage, improved investments in primary care, expanded access to free higher education, and in the coming weeks, we will finally have a paid family and medical leave program in the First State.
“Now, with a record $1 billion surplus on the table, we are putting aside our political differences to put money back into the hands of Delawareans. These direct payments will help stimulate our economy, help families pay their bills and provide much needed relief to a workforce that labored through one of the most difficult moments in our nation’s history. This legislation is more than good public policy. It’s the right thing to do,” Senate President Pro Tempore Sen. Dave Sokola said
“My hope is these direct payments will provide some measure of relief for Delaware families who are dealing with higher costs at the grocery store and the gas pump,” said Governor John Carney. “Every taxpayer I’ve ever talked to expects us to manage their money in a way that’s responsible and sustainable over the long term. These direct payments to Delaware families are part of a broader, responsible budget proposal that will invest in education, our economy, and Delaware communities, and increase our reserves to prepare our state for the future.”
“The state has hundreds-of-millions of dollars more than what is needed to pay for our annual funding bills, including prudently setting aside money in reserve,” said State House Minority Leader Danny Short, R-Seaford. “Hopefully, this rebate will not be treated as a final solution, but rather as a good start towards balancing the state’s needs with those of our citizens.”
“Delawareans are struggling, and this rebate will help provide some much-needed relief as we deal with rising inflation and high fuel prices,” said Senate Minority Leader Gerald Hocker, R-Ocean View. “I am pleased that the four caucuses were able to come together and work on this proposal to help the citizens of our state.”
Providing a $300 rebate for each of the more than 600,000 Delawareans who filed a 2020 tax return would cost approximately $186.6 million.
Earlier this week, the Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council met to review updated revenue projections for the current fiscal 2022. DEFAC is projecting an additional $206 million in revenue for this fiscal year above previous estimates, which would be used to fully fund the rebate program.