To combat rising fuel costs, a bipartisan bill has been submitted that would give every taxpaying Delawarean a direct $300 payment from its nearly $1 billion revenue surplus.
The bill is backed by both Republicans and Democrats and has support from Governor John Carney. The bill is expected to swiftly pass and signed by the Governor in April.
“Like most of the country, Delaware has weathered a difficult storm during the pandemic. Our economic recovery has been strong in many ways, but it has also slammed residents with new challenges of increasing costs in almost every facet of their life,” House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst announced on her Facebook page on Thursday. “That’s why I’m proud to announce that legislators and the governor have reached an agreement that will provide $300 in direct payments to every Delawareans who filed a 2020 tax return.”
Last week, Republican lawmakers proposed a $100 payment from the revenue surplus. The calls for a payment was made after an attempt to suspend Delaware’s gas tax, similar to Maryland’s 30-day gas tax holiday. However, the holiday would be illegal because the tax is tied to bonds with the state’s Transportation Trust Fund.
Gas prices have seen a meteoric rise since the Ukraine-Russian conflict and increase demand. According to AAA Mid-Atlantic on Thursday, the average price for a tank of gas in Delaware was $4.00 a gallon, compared to $2.76 a gallon just a year ago. Diesel is just under $5 a gallon at $4.93 a gallon.
“Everyone is feeling the pinch when it comes to filling up their vehicles,” Georgetown State Senator Brian Pettyjohn tells TV Delmarva, the primary sponsor of the gas tax holiday bill.
This is a working story. We will update as we get more information.