This is the seventh part of a series taking a deeper dive into various important topics in the 2020 Delaware gubernatorial election. On the 100-point scale I am using to grade candidates, taxation is worth 13 points.
This section of the dossier has been revised and updated to reflect the general election field.
These will be presented in the order of Republican, Libertarian, Independent Party of Delaware (IPoD), and Democrat, who in all cases are incumbents.
One would imagine that our contenders are in favor of lowering taxes. But surprisingly not all have brought up the issue to a great extent, and they are addressing several ways to lower the burden.
I suspect this will be one of the more actively updated posts as time goes on.
Julianne Murray (R)
Unlike her entire bill of rights devoted to small business, Murray has platitude-speak down when she says she will, “Cut taxes and regulations. Nothing hurts job growth like higher taxes and endless regulations. As our next Governor, Julianne Murray will lower the tax burden and streamline regulations to encourage entrepreneurship.” Well, you can’t lower the sales tax but I’ll bet there are some business taxes they’d like repealed. Because she has at least a goal and purpose, I’ll give her 6 points out of 13.
John Machurek (L)
John would lower taxes, too, but he doesn’t really go into where, why, or how. It’s a missed opportunity. 3 points out of 13.
Kathy DeMatteis (IPoD)
This is another issue Kathy has been silent on, unless it’s in her book/plan that I have not read yet. No points.
John Carney (incumbent D)
Four years ago John said, “If we need to raise more revenue, we need an approach that promotes a growing economy, that’s fair to all taxpayers, and that minimizes the burdens on those least able to pay.
As governor, John will bring that same leadership to a bipartisan effort, working with business and other community leaders, to get our budget back on track without sacrificing the quality services that so many Delawareans depend on.”
So I guess I shouldn’t have said our contenders are in favor of lowering taxes, because we’ve found out through experience that John did not. When it came to the choice of tightening belts or extracting revenue, too often Carney chose the latter. You can see this in the next paragraph. 0 points out of 13.
One measuring stick I use to compare tax burden between states comes from the Tax Foundation, which annually ranks the states on how much of a toll they take from the general public. Delaware just misses the top 10 overall, but it is a schizophrenic ranking because it rates high in some categories (led by the lack of a sales tax and low property taxes) but scrapes the bottom in two key measures: individual income tax and corporate tax, where it ranks dead last at #50. So those two categories need reform, keeping in mind the ideals of a fairer, flatter tax system that’s not used to reward or punish behavior or property ownership. Address these and it goes a long way in securing my endorsement.
Standings: Murray 30.5, Machurek 28, DeMatteis 11.5, Carney 1.5.
My final two categories await, with the role of government as I perceive each candidate adopting it coming up next.