Q&A: Rep. Quinn Johnson Named to DEFAC Revenue Task Force

Last month the panel responsible for calculating the state’s budget projections announced the creation of a task force that will conduct a thorough review of the various revenue streams that fund state government. Click here to read more about the task force in this report from WDDE news.

The Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council, commonly referred to as DEFAC, structured the task force to include members from throughout state government, including members of the General Assembly. Middletown-area Rep. Quinn Johnson, who chairs the Legislature’s joint capital budget committee, was selected to represent the House Majority Caucus on the task force.

The task force is scheduled to have its first meeting this month and produce a final report in the spring.

 

Q: Why is this new DEFAC task force necessary?

A: Over the last decade it’s become more and more apparent that the revenues our state relies on to pay for our schools, roads and police officers are coming from sources that can be unpredictable and sometimes unstable. It’s time for us to really take a look at where our money comes from, and make sure these sources of funding are balanced and reliable.

Q: What specific revenue sources is the task force most concerned about?

A: I want the task force to look at everything, from the personal income tax to the taxes paid by big corporations. One of the areas where we’ve seen the most volatility in our revenues is our abandoned property collections; those can swing far in either direction from year to year, which makes it very hard to plan for the long term and make the best decisions about the future.

Q: What do you think needs to happen to make state revenue sources more stable?

A: The bottom line is our state’s revenues need to be able to grow with the state’s economy in good times and maintain the crucial services we need in lean times. Right now, job growth in Delaware is above the national average and our local economy is gaining strength. However, we’re not seeing that economic growth reflected in our state revenues – it’s lagging very far behind. Our state revenue policies need to be aligned with our core economic drivers.