Revenue Publishes List of Top Delinquent Taxpayers

Statewide, DE — Delaware Division of Revenue Director Patrick Carter has announced the posting another list of top 100 delinquent individual and business taxpayers on the state’s Delinquent Taxpayers website.

The website posts the names of people and businesses who owe unpaid taxes to the state for public view. By legislative order, larger balances are targeted first for publication. Each quarter the next 100 consecutive business tax and 100 consecutive personal unresolved tax balances over $1,000 are posted to the site. Delinquent taxpayers can avoid appearing on the list by paying their balance in full or making payment arrangements.

“Posting these violators online leads to public scrutiny, and puts pressure on those in violation,” Carter says. “These lists help Delaware recoup outstanding balances while incurring minimal expense for taxpayers.”

Since its inception in February 2007, the Delinquent Taxpayers webpage has collected in excess of $11.9 million in back taxes from those whose names were published, or who were advised that they qualified to have their names published online.

In order to meet the criteria for having your name posted to the Delaware Delinquent Taxpayers site, individuals and businesses must have already received a judgment for unpaid taxes. They are then notified by mail that their names may be posted online, and given 60 days to respond. Delaware is one of over 20 states and the District of Columbia to publish delinquent taxpayers’ names online.

The names of those who enter into a payment agreement with the Division of Revenue or pay their balance in full are either not published or will be removed from the Delinquent Taxpayers list, depending on when the agreement takes place. Taxpayers who have filed for bankruptcy protection or who have incurred a liability that is being appealed are excluded from the published list until their case has been resolved.

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Leslie A. Poland
Public Information Officer
Delaware Department of Finance
(302) 577-8522
leslie.poland@delaware.gov


Successful State Bond Sale Saves Taxpayers Over $8M

Wilmington, DE – Finance Secretary Thomas J. Cook announced today that Delaware successfully sold $236 million in triple-A-rated general obligation bonds in Tuesday’s annual bond sale, effectively netting a savings of over $8 million for Delaware taxpayers.

With triple-A ratings recently re-affirmed by Moody’s Investors Service, Fitch Ratings, and Standard & Poor’s Rating Services, Delaware was able to obtain some of the best pricing relative to the triple-A index in recent history, even in a volatile market. “Credit quality matters and translates into reduced interest costs to taxpayers,” said Cook. “In this case, the triple-A rating saved Delaware taxpayers $5.8 million when compared to double-A rates.”

Of the $236 million of bonds sold, $36 million sold as Series C represents a refinancing at lower rates, saving taxpayers more than an additional $3 million.

“It is our responsibility to ensure we are using taxpayer dollars efficiently and maximizing the return on our investments,” said Governor Jack Markell. “Our triple-A rating, and the benefits that come with it, are the result of the fiscal discipline and prudent financial management that have become Delaware’s hallmark.”

Delaware’s combined cost of capital on this loan was 2.32%. “While not the lowest ever, it is lower relative to other high quality issuers that have been in the market recently,” said Cook. The state received seven bids; awarding Morgan Stanley &Co., LLC as the highest bidder on Series A, J.P. Morgan Securities LLC on Series B, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch on Series C.

The remaining $200 million, Series A and B, represents various capital projects – including over $100 million in school construction projects, improvements to the Veteran’s Home, National Guard readiness facilities, the Port of Wilmington, libraries around the state, and the rehabilitation of park and wildlife areas.

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Leslie A. Poland
Public Information Officer
Delaware Department of Finance
(302) 577-8522
leslie.poland@delaware.gov


Delaware Earns Universal Triple-A Credit Rating

Delaware has received a triple-A credit rating from all three major rating agencies – the highest mark a government agency can achieve. Highlighting the state’s fiscally responsible approach, Moody’s Investors Service, Fitch Ratings, and Standard & Poor’s Rating Services have recognized the state’s strong fiscal practices, as well as the strength of Delaware’s economy and labor market.

“These reports affirm our progress in strengthening Delaware’s economy, while budgeting responsibly,” said Governor Jack Markell. “Recognition of Delaware as one of the top rated states shows Delaware is well-positioned for continued success. However, our work is never finished. We must continue efforts to prepare our workers with the skills they need to compete for jobs, foster a nurturing environment for businesses to start and expand in the state, and ensure our budget is sustainable for years to come.”

The reports take into account expected workforce reductions in the first quarter of 2016 due to the DuPont merger with Dow Chemical, but cite positive trends and continued growth in other employment areas – including business services, financial activities, education, health, leisure and hospitality.

In its analysis, Standard and Poor’s pointed to Delaware’s “diverse economy,” “strong financial and budget management,” “consistently strong general fund reserves,” “moderate overall debt burden,” and “well-funded pension system.”

Delaware has now earned the top rating from all agencies for the past 16 years, including through the recent economic recession and ongoing recovery.

“Delaware has maintained its triple-A ratings through some challenging economic cycles – in large measure due to our disciplined adherence to responsible fiscal practices and focus on economic development,” said Secretary of Finance Thomas J. Cook. “Even through the Great Recession, this administration has maintained the highest possible credit ratings through strong financial management and fiscal discipline, while improving our business climate. The confirmation of our rating will translate to the lowest cost of capital, permitting greater investment in the essential infrastructure that is essential to attracting new business and spurring job creation.”

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Leslie A. Poland
Public Information Officer
Delaware Department of Finance
(302) 577-8522
leslie.poland@delaware.gov


Delaware Personal Income Tax Season Begins January 19

Division of Revenue Director Patrick T. Carter has announced that Delaware tax season will begin Tuesday, January 19, 2016. Citizens are encouraged to file their 2015 State of Delaware Personal Income Taxes online at www.delaware.gov. This year’s filing deadline is Monday, May 2, 2016. Online filing offers many advantages, and Delaware urges taxpayers to electronically file their returns. Refunds from electronically filed returns are issued on average within 2 weeks, while refunds from paper-filed returns average over seven weeks. Last year, the average time to issue a refund for all tax filing methods combined was just over 20 days.

Delaware offers the following electronic filing options:

  1. Those who don’t need tax preparation software can file for free on the Delaware Division of Revenue website. This online system is extremely user-friendly and available 24/7. The system also allows taxpayers to file their returns and then schedule any payment due closer to the May 2nd deadline. Taxpayers may pay their State of Delaware taxes on this system using a credit card or by debiting their bank account.
  2. Those who prefer tax-preparation software can electronically file their federal and state income tax returns for a fee, although these products also offer free-filing options for Delaware taxpayers who meet the following qualifications:
  • Adjusted gross income is less than the software’s established means criteria; or
  • Active-duty military with an adjusted gross income of $60,000 or less (including Reservists and National Guard); or
  • Qualify for the Federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)

For paper-filed returns, the State uses a modernized processing system that identifies tax filings based on the return type. Any taxpayer who files a 2015 tax return using a previous-year return, or who modifies the paper return in some way, will experience significant delays. Paper tax returns will be available at local libraries or for download at www.revenue.delaware.gov.

Because Delaware does not maintain reciprocity agreements with other states; it is important for anyone who is not a Delaware resident – but who has worked in Delaware – to understand that they must file a Delaware tax return. Delaware Residents who work out-of-state are required to file returns with Delaware in addition to the state where they worked.

By law, Delaware employees should receive their W-2 employment forms by January 31, 2016 for any job worked during the 2015 calendar year. Those who haven’t received a W-2 by January 31 should contact their employer.

 

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Leslie A. Poland
Public Information Officer
Delaware Department of Finance
Division of Revenue
(302) 577-8522
leslie.poland@delaware.gov


Delaware’s Stephanie Scola Honored As A Trailblazer In Public Finance

Stephanie M. Scola, Director of Bond Finance for the State of Delaware, has been presented with a Freda Johnson Trailblazer Award by the Northeast Women in Public Finance (NEWPF). The award honors her as a woman who has made an outstanding commitment to the field of public finance, and whose dedication and professional achievements have been recognized by her peers. She was one of ten women from across the country honored at the Bond Buyer’s 14th Annual Deal of the Year Awards Gala at New York’s Waldorf Astoria on December 3, 2015.

As Director of Bond Finance, Stephanie oversees Delaware’s bond program, finding creative and efficient ways to fund state objectives. “I find it particularly satisfying to finance projects for the public good: schools, libraries, and courthouses,” says Ms. Scola. Through her diligence, she ensures that the state’s capital projects are financed at the lowest possible cost of capital and is vigilant for threats to Delaware’s Triple-A rating.

In addition to her many achievements, she was instrumental in making Delaware bonds available to retail investors and has created one of the most comprehensive investor relations sites on the internet, http://www.buybonds.delaware.gov/. The site promotes investor relations, and provides easily accessible, current, and relevant information about the State and its financial position for the public.

“We’re proud to have such an exemplary role model for women in public finance working with us,” said Finance Secretary Tom Cook, “and we congratulate Stephanie on this well-deserved honor. Her dedication to raising Delaware’s profile in the public finance industry is admirable and ultimately helps all Delawareans.”

Trailblazer Awards are given annually to recognized leaders in the public finance industry, with nominees chosen by members of the NEWPF.

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Leslie A. Poland
Public Information Officer
Delaware Department of Finance
(302) 577-8522
leslie.poland@delaware.gov