It turns out that Maryland legislators and Gov. Larry Hogan had a well-thought-out tax relief measure in the works.
What emerged this week was a nearly $1.9 billion program over five years. The legislation is heavily weighted toward tax relief for senior citizens and a few other tweaks.
With the costs spread out over five years, the Maryland relief package is affordable even if a recession rears its ugly head as the Federal Reserve hikes interest rates as a way to battle inflation.
By contrast, the Delaware proposal is “one and done,” with that money becoming only a fond memory a year from now.
None of this is to suggest that Delaware should copy and paste the Maryland proposal.
Seniors in Delaware already benefit from the lack of a sales tax and lower property taxes.
Instead, it would have been better to make modest yearly reductions in the state’s top income rate of 6.6%. That figure kicks in on annual incomes of $60,000 a year, a number that affects many seniors and most working families.
There may also be room for raising the minimum dollar figure for paying the state’s gross receipts (a sales tax paid by businesses)
Adjusted for Delaware’s smaller population, the cost of the equivalent of Maryland’s relief package in Delaware is $350 million, or $70 million a year.
Delaware’s “one and done” plan pours a $187 million “sugar rush” into the economy, with the current tax structure remaining unchanged.
Maryland is thinking long-term, an approach worth serious consideration in Dover.
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