Thursday, June 2, 2011

Delaware government: Bills to partially undo tax increases clear committee

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DOVER -- Legislation to partially undo tax increases that were levied in 2009 sailed through a House committee Wednesday, clearing the way for action by the full House.

The bills, proposed by Gov. Jack Markell, would reduce the personal income tax, cut the gross-receipts tax and reduce the public-utility tax on electricity and gas bills.
House Bill 128 would reduce the personal income tax on income over $60,000 from 6.95 percent to 6.75 percent for 2012 and 2013. Under the 2009 law that raised the tax, the rate will return to 5.95 percent in 2014 unless the General Assembly renews the increase.
The tax cut "keeps our competitive edge by keeping us below [the rates of] neighboring states," said House Majority Leader Pete Schwartzkopf, D-Rehoboth Beach.
House Bill 127 would cut the gross-receipts tax by 3 percent and would exempt more income from the tax, removing about 330 merchants from the gross-receipts tax rolls. Rep. John Viola, D-Newark, said he would introduce an amendment to do away with a higher rate charged on supermarket sales exceeding $2 million.
House Bill 129 would cut the public-utility tax rate from 5 percent to 4.25 percent.
The proposed cuts are made possible thanks to increased state revenue estimates.

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