Slight Revenue Increase Projected for Delaware in FY 2019 - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Slight Revenue Increase Projected for Delaware in FY 2019

Posted: Dec 18, 2017 5:05 PM Updated:

NEW CASTLE, Del. (AP/WBOC)- Delaware's official government revenue forecast for the upcoming fiscal year has ticked up only slightly from previous estimates as Gov. John Carney's administration prepares to roll out a proposed budget.

The $4.3 billion revenue projection approved Monday for fiscal 2019 is up about $24 million compared to September's estimate due to higher projections for abandoned property collections.

Delaware Finance Secretary Rick Geisenberger said the state's new process for verifying abandoned property claims has become more thorough because of major data breaches at firms like Equifax.

But the slower process, Geisenberger said, means abandoned property can stay on Delaware's books even longer.

"It's really important from a consumer protection and identity protection standpoint that we do this right and we do it well," he said.

House Minority Leader Danny Short (R-Seaford) said the overall projections were positive but cautioned abandoned property is not always a reliable source of revenue. 

Delaware, with the help of its incorporation laws, says it uses escheat to take custody of uncashed checks, unused gift cards, and dormant bank accounts.

"It's somebody else's money to begin with. So I think people are going to have a better eye on it and other states are going to compete with us on that issue," Short said.

The revenue projection for the current fiscal year dropped by $200,000 from September, an inconsequential change in a $4.24 billion estimate.

A $25 million increase in estimated abandoned property collections and a $6 million increase in projected gambling revenues were offset by decreases in other revenue categories.

Monday's projections are the final updates from the Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council before Carney unveils his budget proposal for fiscal 2019 in mid-January.

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