On the issue of basic fairness, and also because we need to raise more revenue than our basically flat income tax rate allows, it is time for Delaware for add a few more tiers to its progressive tax structure. As it stands now, Delaware has two tax rates it taxes you at. If you make under $60,000, you are taxed at one percentage. If you make over $60,000, you are taxed at another percentage. The unfairness and ridiculousness of this system cannot be overstated. Someone making poverty level wages (i.e. under $18k) is taxed the same rate as someone making $55k. And someone making $14 million a year is taxed the same as someone making $90k.
Delaware has a $63 million budget shortfall, and we cannot make that shortfall up and deal with the cost of Medicaid simply with spending cuts. It is time that Delaware adds more tax rate tiers above and below the 60k dividing line. If you agree, please consider signing this petition. And thank you.
Further, as we are in the midst of the Joint Finance Committee’s hearings on the budget, it is important to note that because of the ongoing Sequester situation in Washington, Delaware will lose federal funding on a host of projects if the Sequester cuts go through. For example, as Ezra Temko of the Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) noted in a recent press release, “Delaware will lose $1.7 million in special education grant funding, which will impact over 800 students.” If the Sequester does go through (and I believe it will), then Delaware will need another mechanism to fill the gaps caused by federal spending cuts. A more progressive tax structure may be one of the answers.
The ADA is holding a press conference on these topics on Wednesday, February 20 at 10 am at Legislative Hall at the base of the main staircase on the main floor. This event is being co-sponsored by the Delaware Public Employees Council 81, American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and the National Committee to Preserve Social Security & Medicare (NCPSSM). This conference is being held prior to the JFC’s hearings on health and social services spending, so if you have the time to attend the press conference, you might want to stick around for the following JFC public hearings: Long Term Care (10:30), Public Health (11:00), Social Services (12:15), and Medicaid & Medical Assistance (1:15).