When Governor Markell ran away from Velda Jones-Potter during the Democratic Treasurer Primary, he didn’t stop running until he hit Rhode Island. There, he paused long enough to turn over $500,000 of Democrat Governors Association money to the Democrat Gubernatorial candidate and hold a press conference — which is where he was called to the carpet.
Reporter Katherine Gregg of the Providence Journal actually asked some pertinent and tough questions of Governor Markell. Maybe the reporter could do a guest stint in Delaware? The whole article can be found here.
It seems that at the press conference our Governor attacked the Democratic candidate’s opponent for proposing a $320 million tax increase to close a budget gap. But didn’t Governor Markell propose and support a $200 million in tax increase in Delaware asked Ms. Gregg? According to Markell:
The revenue increases that you talk about, first of all they were all sunset …. They will be going away … and most of that is going to have no effect on the people of Delaware [because] $130 million of that is on companies that incorporate in Delaware.
Oh… Those tax increases will be going away… Golly, I feel so much better now. Of course the gross receipts tax, a temporary tax put in place in the 1970’s, is going away, too. Sunset provisions are just as easy to remove as changing the tax rate. This “sunset” ruse is a difference without meaning. A simple majority vote from each legislative chamber along with a Gubernatorial signature is all that is required to raise/lower taxes or remove sunsets.
How about those companies that just “incorporate in Delaware”? How many of those companies incorporating in Delaware will start to move their incorporation elsewhere as a result of Delaware’s repeated fee increases over the last 6 years? A simple check of incorporation statistics from a handful of other State’s shows that Delaware’s competitiveness is slipping, and the Democrats Dodd-Frank bill has increased the slope.
The Governor went on:
“There was an increase [in] the income tax,” he acknowledged, “but at the highest level.”
The highest level? Absolutely true. A 17% income tax increase was applied to anyone earning $60,000 or more. That would be working families, teachers, fire fighters, retirees, etc. Those high earners! Shame on them for wanting to keep their money rather than let the Governor and his Legislative cronies spend it…
But then comes the big whopper…
83 percent of the people in our state are untouched by our proposed tax increase… a very different situation [from Rhode Island].
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2008 Delaware’s median household income was $58,380. Which means that almost 1/2 of Delaware’s households were affected by the income tax increase. Now, maybe the Governor is playing cute since the quote above says “proposed” not “passed”. Perhaps the Governor’s “proposals” only affected 17%, but the Governor signed a bill that actually directly taxes almost 50%. Hmmm…
After the news conference, the Democrat Governors Association was incensed that anyone had the audacity to question Governor Markell’s hypocrisy:
DGA spokeswoman Emily Bittner denounced questions posed to Markell about his own tax moves as a sign of reporter bias, and said: “The percent sales [tax] on groceries, medicine, clothes is very different than what he [Markell] did. You know that …. Let’s start with the cigarette tax. You don’t have to buy cigarettes to live. You do have to buy groceries.”
Reminded that Markell sought increases in the gross-receipts taxes paid by grocery stores and other retailers, contractors, manufacturers and “occupations requiring licenses,” she said: “It’s not a direct tax on consumers. It’s completely different.”
So, now we know what counts as intelligence at the DGA. To them, increasing costs on businesses does not increase costs on consumers. Gosh, fundamental microeconomics simply rewritten with the utterance of “political authority”.
And you wonder why voters are frustrated, angry & scared?