Delaware Public Media

Delaware revenue estimate up again as budget markup starts

May 20, 2019

Delaware revenue numbers keep rising as lawmakers move to draft the next fiscal year’s budget.

The Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council's (DEFAC) most recent estimate gives lawmakers about $4.87 billion to work with for Fiscal Year 2020, a $38.1 million increase from last month’s meeting. Gov. John Carney has proposed a $4.4 billion budget.

Finance Secretary Rick Geisenberger said the state is experiencing a more than 4 percent growth rate this year. But he expects that to drop in the next couple of years.

Geisenberger said certain revenue like personal income tax, unclaimed property and the lottery is volatile.

“That last 25 percent of our portfolio is growing you know -4 to 0 percent,” he said.

Finance Secretary Rick Geisenberger said personal income tax is mostly driving the FY 2020 growth.

“So that’s a good thing, but we should we mindful of the charts and graphs we looked at today, which showed how volatile the personal income tax can be,” he said.

The revenue estimate for 2020 has grown $102 million since last June.

DEFAC also hiked its estimate for the current year by just under $41 million. That’s a $200 million increase since June.

The budget smoothing fund has about $255.8 million dollars in it.

Administration officials are encouraging lawmakers to save money and use one-time expenditures toward capital projects.

But many groups are urging the budget-writing Joint Finance Committee to give them needed funding - such as disability support providers, visually impaired students and adults on Medicaid without dental coverage.