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Bill to help First State land DowDuPont spinoff headquarters coming to General Assembly

Delaware Public Media

Lawmakers are set to move on legislation to help Delaware land the corporate headquarters of two companies expected to emerge following the proposed Dow-Dupont merger.

House and Senate leadership from both parties are sponsoring the Commitment to Innovation Act filed Thursday.

The bill would make a series of changes that are part of the package state officials offered DowDuPont to make Delaware home to the corporate headquarters for its planned agriculture and specialty products spin-offs. 

First, the proposal seeks remove the $5 million annual expenditure cap from the state’s research and development tax credit, and make that credit refundable.  If passed, officials say Delaware would be one of  just three states to have an R&D credit with those provisions, and the only one east of the Mississippi. 

The bill also would reinstate New Economy Jobs Tax Credit, which sunset in 2014 and expand it to cover retained jobs resulting from companies involved in corporate restructuring.

Gov. Jack Markell (D-Delaware) and leadership in both the House and Senate say they believe the measure will help convince companies beyond the new DowDupont ventures to invest and hire in the First State.

“These reforms save jobs today and are going to create jobs in the future,” said Markell in a statement. “Not only are they vital to ensuring we keep the headquarters of the planned agriculture spinoff, but they also support continued growth of innovative businesses of all sizes and well-paying jobs throughout the state. These changes will reinforce our distinction as one of the states best prepared to thrive in the New Economy.”

In addition to bipartisan support at Legislative Hall, the bill also has support from the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce and the Delaware Business Roundtable.

"Research and Development continues to be a large investment and job creator for companies, and is important for Delaware's economic growth moving forward. This is exactly the sort of thing the legislature ought to be doing to help create jobs here.” said State Chamber president Rich Heffron in a statement. “If I am a business owner in this state or outside of it, I am standing up and taking note of the fact that there are some really positive things happening in Delaware.”

The bill was filed in advance to the General Assembly reconvening next week.

Tom Byrne has been a fixture covering news in Delaware for three decades. He joined Delaware Public Media in 2010 as our first news director and has guided the news team ever since. When he's not covering the news, he can be found reading history or pursuing his love of all things athletic.
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