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Ilnmlllllll |ilHU[III~ 18 FRIDAY, MAY 13 - MONDAY, MAY 16, 2011 NEWS cape Gazette Stateto use surplus to ease recession By Kara Nuzback knuzback@capegazette.com Gov. Jack Markell wants to use a $320 million budget surplus to enhance employment across Delaware. On May 6, Markell an- nounced the final proposal in a $135 million plan to use the sur- plus for job creation. Building Delaware's Fu- ture Now is a three-part plan to reduce un- employment. The plan would give the gover- nor and General Assembly lee- way to invest JackMarkell part of the funds, cut taxes and improve ed- ucation. "Our top priority re- mains getting Delawareans back to work who need jobs and creat- ing more economic opportunity for people who are already work- ing," Markell said in a press re- lease. Building Delaware's Future Now plan has three goals. First, to limit Delaware's dependence on unreliable revenue sources, such as abandoned property, by capping the amount from these sources that can be used to fund the operating budget. The gov- ernor also proposes limiting ex- penditures, reducing taxes and paying down the state's debt. $135 million for job creation The first part of the plan, an- nounced May 4, would establish a $135 million fund designed to help Markell and legislators make calculated investments that would stimulate job creation and retention. The fund would give $40 million to improve state infrastructure to attract new businesses, $40 million to im- prove transportation so more Delawareans can get to work and $35 million toward maintaining state assets, such as historic properties, state buildings and parks. Markell also proposed spend- ing $10 million on housing for low-income families, and $10 million for preserving Delaware's open spaces to main- tain a high quality of life. Rep. Ruth Briggs King, R- Georgetown, said in an email she agrees the state needs to improve infrastructure and transportation the budget surplus continues to sonal income tax from 6.95 per- systems. "However, before we grow. "I think I would double it. cent to 6.75 percent for all tax- provide any more funds to Del- Where I would take it from, I'm payers. DOT (Delaware Department of not exactly sure," he said. Sen. George Bunting, D- Transportation), we need to ad- An $8.5 million tax cut isBethany Beach, runs a branch of dress the oversight of DelDOT aimed at creating financial serv- State Farm Insurance in Re- and ensure our funding is work- ices jobs, giving that industry a hoboth Beach. Bunting said with ing for projects," Briggs King jolt. According to Markell, about some tweaking, he believes said. She suggests taking admin- 25,000 Delaware residents work Markell's plan will be a success. istrative costs out of the state's in the fmancial services industry. Specifically, he said, lowering Transportation Trust Fund and The governor's proposal would public utilities tax, lowering putting those costs into the Gen- slightly lower bank franchise tax- overall debt and establishing an eral Fund. es by providing an alternative unemployment trust fund are all method for computing the taxes excellent ways to stimulate job Cuttax ,reducedeM and provide a new tax credit for creation. "He's a tremendous The second part of Markell's employers who create financial thinker," Bunting said of Markell. plan would cut taxes in areas he services jobs. "He is the man for the time." says are stifling job creation. Part two of the proposal would "We have a chance to focus these also give an enhanced tax credit Invest in educatkm cuts in a way that could help to banks that bring200 or more Markell recommends invest- Delaware attract businesses new jobs to Delaware. Banks ing in early childhood and higher large and small to locate here would receive a $1,250 credit for education to help Delawareans and put people to work," Markell 10 years for each new employee, find jobs and improve their said. totaling $12,500 per job over 10 chances for employment in the Markell proposed reducing the years, future. gross receipts taxes by $6 mil- The proposal would invest $9.5 The proposal to improve high- lion. The reduction would help million in a program to promote er education includes enhancing small businesses and manufac- energy efficiency and reduce the facilities-at Delaware State Uni- turers by increasing the monthly cost of long-term energy savings versity in Dover, University of exclusion by 25 percent, or to business owners. Public utili- Delaware in Newark and $20,000. The tax reduction ties tax would decrease from 5 Delaware Technical & Commu- would also take 330 businesses percent to 4.25 percent for gas nity College campuses across the offthe gross receipts tax roll. and electric, state. "We're going to make in- Markell also wants to put $20 In the fall, interest payments vestments that put people to million towards the state debt to on some federal loans are sched- work building new research and decrease the debt burden on tax- uled to begin, which would cause training facilities at our colleges payers. " higher assessments on business- so they can graduate more stu- Senate Minority Leader Gary es. Under this proposal, interest dents with the strong science Simpson, R-Milford, said the tax payments would be made backgrounds the fastest-growing reductions would surely create through an unemployment trust industries demand," Markell more jobs in Delaware. "Overall, fund. The $3.7 million fund said. the program for the surplus is ex- would help employers avoidUnder the proposal, the gov- cellent" he said. higher employment taxes, ernment would invest in a $10 Simpson said he would like to The second prong of Markell's million optics research lab at see more of the surplus go to- proposal would also use $6.8 mil- Continued on page 21 ward debt reduction, especially if lion in state funds to reduce per- Bond committee hears plans for quests from aviation outlets grams using state funding allo lege to create abrighter eco, .. -. . across the.state, cated this year, Delaware Tech nomic furore. George: said en-. " expansion, improvement "we have the students who plans to kick-start seven new- rollment at Delaware Tech is al- - - are interested, trid we have the programs this fall in George, ways increasing because of the By still during adver economic employers who need this type town. success students have in finding rachel cape zette.com time& ThCy-seimmd very sup- of worker," McNesby said, '*'Based on an understanding jobs once they receive their de- porfive." "These are go0d-paying jobs; of where the jobs are, we ake grees. By expanding the faeiti- Wittr plmrtfromGov.lack Inthe governor'slanuary and once we get the facility up launehing these seven new pro- ties and progzams, GeorResaid Markell blowing windinto its budget .proposal, Delaware " andgoing, there will be jobs out grams, including the first food he h0pes fewer studonts will be sails, Delaware Technical & Teeh was slated to $3.5 there for ibe students." " " safety program in the nation," placed on, waitinglists. Commtmit7 College askedthe million: Then, last week, The third, phase of the pro- said Lisa Hastings-Sheppard, eollege'S focus conti(t- Legislature's bond,bill commit- .Marketl announced an addi- gram:will be the avionlcs core, spokeswoman for the college, ues to :be on connecting teefor$13.Smilliolx " " 'tional $10 million to promote where students will learn about "Weaf, ealsocrea, tin ganewin- Delawareans with jobs, and On May U, D I: Tech Presi- programs tha prepare graduat- instrmnentation,, formation security program for these projects will prepare dent Orlando Gorgeand V'me' ing students for the workforce., Once is in .plac the cyber security and a renewable- I _ lawareans for positions "m - President forFmanee Jerry. Me- George requeste tthe bond bill college will construct a 7,500- to ener_ ,, solar program, among high-demand, growing indus- Nesby appe ed before thecommittee approve both fund- t0,000-square-foot facility at others. , tries like healthcare and-aria- committee to discuss the future ing streams, the alrpark. McNesby estimates Delaware Tech is investing in" tion maintenance," George said. of DeLT .h'sfoureampuses.: InGeorgetowa,$15milh'onof abeginningclassof24students, renewable energy at a!l four of "Webdievefundiigtbeseproj- McNesbysaid afteL'ward the_ the $10 mittionwillbespent on An additional $Te 0,000 of the its campuses by installing 1.9 "ects is,an investment in the- committee was very receptive the aviation p/'ogram. $3.5 million will also be spent in megawatts of solar pane!s- 812 - state's rdcove.r , to the and to. Del . 'There werethree phases to Georgetown to help renovate kilowatts, of which 4. bein- McNesby said additional Tech's request of $13.5 millioh the college's aviationl gram. - and expand ,facilities, , tid Mc- stallht.in Georgetown, funding for projects across , ,for expansion of'p and The first Was suec fnlair- Nesby: 'Tee have an ongoing review thestate-will allow the college facilities. : frame maintenance program, funding will, also help -process at the college doneby t9 expand and offer more sci- "The committedunderstoodwhich waS ]m'ti' ed. more than -' improve andeXpand labs and the.academica@ajrsofficet0re- enceo urses. our histo issue:of :capacity two years ,ago," McNesby said. ins ctional facilities," he said. our programs forrelevan-"One of the frustrations we in terms of our ability to pro- "The secoi "phase/is avia- ' :,And where posg le, we will ey," said McNesby. "We are hear from students is they can't vide courses to our students in tion power:, ptant: l ogram .: provide Stat ..of-the art. tech- adding but that does-, getinto courses to complete de- .a timely.-ma mer,"said Me_3qes- t a'estudentSwillbe Working nology. We be adding ca-. /t mean- others are being terdxi- gree reqnlrements toget into :" by, refe to long wai "tinglists .on the engimstliemselvesy , pacity at the airport and reno- mated; We only terminateprr- the workforee- this going to for certain Delaware Tech pro- The demand for workers in vating or the existing, grams because, there aren't jobS- ease that; MeNesby said. 'qltis grams, this. ield has been shown footprint at:'the Owens Cam- atthe end ofthedegree.',is reallyatl investment.- we are 'Taey seemed to appreciate through surveys with PATS Air- pus." George urged the bond bill simply connecting Delawaream-" that the College is not sitting "craftin Georgetown, and re- In addifion to expanding pro- ' committee to work with the eol= with jobs."