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Delaware GOP against cuts to senior tax breaks

 Governor Markell delivers his State of the State Address to a joint session of the General Assembly in Dover. (Mark Eichmann/WHYY)

Governor Markell delivers his State of the State Address to a joint session of the General Assembly in Dover. (Mark Eichmann/WHYY)

All 25 Republicans in the General Assembly sign a letter to Gov. Markell opposing his plans to reduce property tax credits for older Delawareans.

Last week, Markell unveiled a nearly $4 million budget that included a $12.6 million cut in the property tax subsidy provided for homeowners age 65 and over. Currently, the state pays 50 percent of older Delawareans property tax bills up to $500. Markell’s proposal would lower that to 25 percent up to $250.

“With our economy and the size of our government, we can’t justify raising taxes,” said Senator Colin Bonini, R- Dover South. He’s one of 25 Republicans to sign on to the letter against reducing the subsidy.

Markell’s proposal “amounts to a $250 annual tax on some of our most vulnerable residents,” according the Republican letter.

The Republicans want to sit down with Markell to discuss other options. They indicate in the letter that an improved economy would be a better way to balance the budget.

“Meaningful changes to our prevailing wage and right-to-work laws, for instance would give more Delawareans hope of earning significant wages,” said Sen. Cathy Cloutier, R- Heatherbrooke.  “Higher wages would, in turn, generate greater revenue for the state.” 

The GOP is in the minority in both chambers of the General Assembly.

You can read the Republican letter to Markell below: 

 

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