Delaware Monthly Financial Report: November - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Delaware Monthly Financial Report: November

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DELAWARE - It is easy to get lost in the mountain of numbers and the wave of dollars signs filling up the monthly financial reports of Delaware. But through analysis of these numbers, a lot can be learned about the state of the Delaware economy.

Newly elected Rep. Rich Collins said he is concerned about the most recent report. The data showed that the money spent by the state had actually decreased compared to this time period in Fiscal Year 2014. However, the amount of revenue received by the saw substantial decreases as well.

From FY 2014 to FY 2015, during the time period between June and November, total revenue has decreased by 3.7 percent. Some more stable trends downward have included a loss of more than $25 million in lottery revenue since FY 2012. Similarly, cigarette tax money has decreased by nearly $8 million during that time frame.

"It's in the neighborhood of eight or ten categories of revenue," he said. "Of 18 that are not only down, but also showing multi-year declines. It's a very strong trend of weakness."

Deputy Secretary David Gregor from the Department of Finance said these concerns are premature. Gregor said that a full year of data is needed to make any full conclusions. In fact, he said the Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council has projected revenue increases of nearly 10 percent, something contrary to the current monthly report.

"The monthly Financial Report dated November 30, 2014, while useful, is not sufficient to reach broad conclusions regarding the State's financial condition," he said. "It is is important to remember  that it offers only a partial snapshot of where the State stands."

Gregor said that this monthly report fails to include some quarterly business tax payments that are not due until December 1.

"A better indicator of the State's current financial condition is DEFAC," he said. "Which held it's most recent meeting on December 15."

Gov. Jack Markell has expressed some concern as well over the reliability of Delaware revenue. Much of the revenue, such as the lottery and the collection of abandoned property are not tied to the state of the economy, and thus hard to predict. Markell has asked DEFAC to create a committee to look into potential changes, which could mean more taxes, or simply tax reform.

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