Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Gov. Carney's vetoes on tax credit bills frustrate fellow Democrats

Delaware Public Media

Gov. John Carney vetoed bills sponsored by two members of his own party.

He tried to avoid publicly disclosing his reasons for vetoing the two bills, but Democratic House leadership forced his hand.

One bill Carney vetoed aimed to assist tens of thousands of low-income Delaware families by making the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit refundable like the federal version.

That bill, sponsored by State Rep. Paul Baumbach, cut the percentage of the state’s tax credit, but expanded the number of people it would benefit. He said more than 70,000 families would get a tax break.

Baumbach argues the veto leaves the poorest Delawareans with absolutely no help for another year.

“The governor’s saying I care more about the top third than the middle and the bottom third of low-income working families," he said. "I don’t get it.”

Carney complained the bill hurts the 35,000 families the credit currently helps by reducing the size of the break. But Baumbach said he doesn’t understand the governor’s reasoning.

“What he’s saying is if this would help those who don’t have help right now, he’d be all for it as long as take anything from anyone," he said. "Well, that’s known as legislation with a cost. And he did not put a single penny in his budget last year for this program.”

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said in February Delaware is one of six states who tax credits are non-refundable, which means it only offsets income tax. The center said that the non-refundable state credits don't "make up for other taxes that working families pay; nor do they do much, if anything, to help keep families working and out of poverty."

Baumbach said he’ll re-introduce the legislation again next year.

Carney also vetoed a bill sponsored by State Rep. Kim Williams. It was designed to bolster the senior tax credit by limiting it to lower income residents, excluding wealthier seniors. The governor said the bill is well-intentioned, but falls short.

Related Content