Delaware Commitment to Innovation Act Filed Today

Date Posted: Thursday, March 3rd, 2016
Categories:  News Office of Governor Markell

Dover, DE Aiming to build on progress that has led to the best job creation of any state in the region, Democratic and Republican leadership of the House and Senate today introduced the bipartisan Delaware Commitment to Innovation Act (SB 200) in advance of the General Assembly returning to session on Tuesday.

The Commitment to Innovation Act includes two provisions that would help promote Delaware as a state in which innovative employers want to invest and hire.

First, the Act ensures all companies receive the full research and development tax credit for which they qualify by removing the annual expenditure cap of $5 million and making the credit refundable. If enacted, Delaware would be one of only three states in the country, and the only state east of the Mississippi, with an R&D credit containing both of these attractive features.

By making the existing research and development credit refundable, it will become more useful to many businesses, particularly to early stage research companies that may not yet be profitable, as well as to established companies interested in expanding their research footprint in Delaware. Removal of the $5 million cap ensures that all eligible applicants receive a credit equal to the full amount of their award, which is calculated at a value equal to half the amount of their federal R&D credit. Currently, all applicants have their awards scaled down so that the cap is not exceeded if the credits are oversubscribed.

Second, SB 200 makes modifications to the New Economy Jobs tax credit, which provides an incentive for companies to establish global corporate headquarters in Delaware. Companies that choose to do this are eligible to receive a tax credit calculated based on the value of their total income tax withholding payments to the state.

The Commitment to Innovation Act is an important part of the state’s proposal to DuPont to locate the headquarters of both its agricultural company spin-off and its specialty products spin-off following its expected merger with Dow.

“These reforms save jobs today and are going to create jobs in the future,” said Governor Jack Markell. “Not only are they vital to ensuring we keep the headquarters of the planned agriculture spinoff, but they also support continued growth of innovative businesses of all sizes and well-paying jobs throughout the state. These changes will reinforce our distinction as one of the states best prepared to thrive in the New Economy.”

“Delaware families will be the end beneficiaries of these changes,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Patricia Blevins, D-Elsmere, the lead sponsor of the bill and State Senator for a district that includes DuPont’s Chestnut Run facility. “When we create more jobs, strengthen our economy and reward innovation, we all win. This package checks all those boxes, and is another example of the positive impact we can have when legislators work together to improve our State.”

“While the situation with DuPont created an urgency to make these changes, modernizing our R&D credit will have a much bigger benefit than just preserving DuPont in Delaware,” said House Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf, D-Rehoboth. “This will encourage businesses that are in the early stages of development to invest and locate here. By becoming one of only a few states in the country with this system, and given our location along the East Coast, we can become a major hub for research and development. Delawareans ask all the time what we are going to do to help create more jobs here, and this bill helps to answer that question.”

“I’m happy to support this important legislation,” said Senate Minority Leader Gary Simpson, R-Milford. “Not only will it help keep a strong DuPont presence in Delaware, but perhaps more importantly, it will preserve the jobs of hundreds of highly trained employees in the state.”

“As the pending merger and reorganization of DuPont has shown, times are changing,” said House Minority Leader Danny Short, R-Seaford.  “We need to start carving a new economic niche for our state.  This legislation, which will encourage research and development on the macro and micro levels, is a step in the right direction.”

“These changes are an investment in our economy and set Delaware on a more positive pathway to robust economic growth and job creation,” said Bob Perkins, Executive Director of the Delaware Business Roundtable. “The Roundtable applauds the legislators who are advancing these changes, and we look forward to working to help the bill become law.”

“Research and Development continues to be a large investment and job creator for companies, and is important for Delaware’s economic growth moving forward. This is exactly the sort of thing the legislature ought to be doing to help create jobs here, and the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce fully supports this,” said Rich Heffron, President of the State Chamber of Commerce. “If I am a business owner in this state or outside of it, I am standing up and taking note of the fact that there are some really positive things happening in Delaware.”

The New Economy Jobs tax credit was designed to incentivize companies who were considering such a move to come to Delaware, in recognition of the positive impact such moves have on the state. This will continue to be a part of the credit in the modernization, but the modified credit will also reflect the need to attract the headquarters of the new spinoffs that are planned to be created as a result of the proposed Dow-DuPont merger. Those proposed new companies had the choice to relocate anywhere in the world, and so the bill will recognize their decision to locate in Delaware appropriately as a successful capture of those operations.


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