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Delaware House passes $300 relief rebate for residents

Roman Battaglia
Delaware Public Media

House lawmakers pass legislation creating a relief rebate for many Delawareans - one day after it is released from committee.

The 2022 Delaware Relief Rebate Program cleared the House with overwhelming support.

The one-time direct payment of $300 per Delaware resident taxpayer is to help Delawareans deal with rising gas prices and groceries due to inflation. It will be funded using this year’s nearly $1 billion budget surplus.

House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst is the bill’s primary sponsor, but she says this was a bipartisan effort.

"We've had a lot of iterations of maybe a gas tax or possibly $100 rebate, but coming together with the Republicans, Representative Short, we decided $300 was a good amount of rebate for Delawareans," said Longhurst.

Longhurst notes this rebate not only was put together with House leadership on both sides of the aisle, but has Senate Democratic and Republican leadership and Gov. John Carney is on board.

House Minority Leader Danny Short suggests this rebate should be the starting point to help Delawareans cope with the rising cost of living.

"What we have done is equivalent depending on how the car or truck that you drive to multiple weeks of relief with gas, but as others have said it could go to groceries or anything else. So I think we're doing the right thing," said Short. "I would also caution my colleagues that I think we could do more. Pass some other bills that have been introduced. Representative Bush has one regarding the senior tax credit and some other things are coming down the pike."

The rebate would go to those who filed a 2020 personal income tax return, and it should be mailed out about six weeks after it is enacted.

Those who didn’t file a 2020 income tax return because they weren’t required to will be eligible for the rebate. The Dept. of Finance will go through the database of other state agencies like the DMV to find eligible residents.

The legislation now heads to the Senate for consideration.

Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.