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Republican lawmakers propose rebates for all Delawareans

Roman Battaglia
Delaware Public Media

Pointing to the rising costs of not just gas but other necessities, House Republicans want to give Delawareans what they’re calling a “rebate.”

Under a forthcoming bill, every Delaware resident - adults and children - would be eligible to receive $100.

State Rep. Tim Dukes (R-Laurel) says the money, a total of about $100 million, would come out of the state’s nearly $900 million surplus.

"Who spends their money the best?  It’s the taxpayer and so we want to give them the opportunity to spend their money the way they want and so that was the idea of this rebate," he said.  

Dukes said lawmakers had considered suspending Delaware’s 23-cents per gallon gas tax, but state law doesn’t allow it when there are outstanding bonds to be repaid on transportation projects. The state’s gas tax is used to help fund the Transportation Trust Fund.

"So even though we thought it was a great idea, it would be something that in a lot of ways would be taking away from the Transportation Trust Fund which builds our roads and bridges and so we didn’t want to do that," Dukes said.  

Dukes is calling for bipartisan support for the rebate proposal, which is expected to be circulated for sponsorships next week.

Rebecca Baer comes Delaware Public Media from The Florida Channel in Tallahassee where she covered state government and produced documentary features for the series, Florida Crossroads.