Rep. Bill Oberle (R – Beechers Lot) placed an amendment on most (perhaps all, but I haven’t verified this) of the Democrats’ Tax Increase Bills. The synopsis of the amendment is:
This amendment is intended to be included with any tax or rate increase legislation for which a sunset provision is considered. The sunset proposal is triggered by two consecutive fiscal years showing actual net revenue increases of 6% or greater, which is the historic average General Fund Operating Budget growth. In calculating revenue growth, neither tax increase legislation nor abandoned property receipts are included.
I point this out because of the phrase “which is the historic average General Fund Operating Budget growth” which is in the middle of the synopsis. Now, ignore for the moment the obvious fact that Delaware’s operating budget has not grown 6% per year for the last 225 years, but it certainly has grown about 6% per year for the last 16 years. The trouble is that Delaware’s economy has not grown at 6% year over year in at least a decade. In fact, as the graph below shows (Source: Delaware Department of Labor), Delaware’s Non-Farm employment is at its lowest level in a decade — in other words there has been NO growth, and the trend is still heading down.
The Democrats have controlled all of State Government except for the House of Representatives for this entire period of no-growth. They now control the entire legislature. I’m glad to see a Sunset provision, but I don’t expect the provision to kick in any time soon. Let’s see where employment winds up in 12 months after the new tax increases.