Department of State Launches Delaware Day Adventure from Dec. 3rd through 12th, 2021

Annually, December 7th has been proclaimed Delaware Day in honor of Delaware becoming the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution in 1787, thus making Delaware the first state in the nation. This year, the Department of State’s Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs and the Delaware Tourism Office have launched the Delaware Day Adventure, an engaging opportunity for visitors to explore Delaware historic sites.

From December 3rd through 12th, visitors can explore five Historical and Cultural Affairs locations, learn and explore about Delaware history and submit photos of their visits to the sites to win a prize.

The rules of the contest are as follows:

  • If visitors submit a photo for all five locations, they’ll be entered to win a grand prize including an overnight stay at a top Delaware hotel, dining in Delaware gift cards, and much more.
  • If visitors submit at least 1 photo, they’ll be entered to win a Delaware themed prize pack, including two historical books, a Dover paperweight, puzzle, and a poster of Delaware featuring historic sites.

Visitors will receive bonus entries if they share their photo(s) on social media using the hashtag #DelawareDay.

The locations along the Delaware Day Adventure include:

Each location will have a sign with a QR code posted from December 3rd through 12th to promote the adventure. All photos must be submitted to https://delawareday.delaware.gov/Delaware-day-adventure by December 12th, 2021. Winners will be notified by December 17th, 2021.

To learn more about the 2021 Delaware Day Adventure, visit https://delawareday.delaware.gov/Delaware-Day-adventure. For questions about the Adventure, please contact Daniel Citron, HCA Historic Sites Team Manager, at Museums@delaware.gov.

To learn more about the history of Delaware Day, visit https://delawareday.delaware.gov.


Eligible Disabled Veterans May Now Apply for School Property Tax Credit

DOVER, DE— Veterans with a 100 percent disability rating may be eligible for a tax credit against 100 percent of non-vocational school district property tax. House Bill 214 with House Amendment 1, which was signed into law by Governor John Carney on August 10th, 2021, allows school districts to grant a Disabled Veterans School Property Tax Credit to eligible disabled veterans.

“Our veterans make sacrifices unfamiliar to most, and for those disabled veterans that sacrifice is even greater. We have a solemn obligation to make sure they are taken care of when they come back home,” said Governor John Carney. “House Bill 214 honors that sacrifice. Thanks to all the advocates and members of the General Assembly that championed this bill.”

“Many of our disabled veterans struggle physically, mentally, and financially. Providing them an exemption from school property taxes will alleviate a financial burden,” said Office of Veterans Services Director Josh Matticks. “We’re thankful for Governor Carney and all the members of the Delaware General Assembly who made this happen.”

Currently, all 16 Delaware non-vocational school districts have approved the school property tax credit. To qualify, applicants must:

  • Receive 100% disability compensation due to service-connected, permanent, and total disability based on individual unemployability or a 100% disability rating from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (USDVA).
  • Have held legal domicile in Delaware for the past 3 years.
  • Pay their property tax bill in full by the end of each tax year in order to qualify for this credit in a subsequent property tax year.

Credit applications are due by April 30, 2022 tax year in order to receive the credit for the 2022 tax year. To apply, qualified disabled veterans must fill out an application found on the Delaware Department of Finance’s website at https://finance.delaware.gov/disabled-veterans/. Applicants must provide:

  • A valid driver’s license or official state ID.
  • Documentation of USDA disability.
  • A copy of their Social Security Card.

For more information on the Disabled Veterans School Tax Credit, please visit https://finance.delaware.gov/disabled-veterans or visit the Disabled Veterans School Tax Credit Frequently Asked Questions page at https://finance.delaware.gov/disabled-veterans/disabled-veterans-school-tax-credit-faq/.

Individuals may also contact the County office in which they live at the following numbers:

New Castle County

(302) 395-5520

Kent County

(302) 744-2401

Sussex County

(302) 855-7871


Secretary of State Announces Appointment of Director of the Delaware Division of the Arts

Dover, Del.—Secretary of State Jeff Bullock has asked Jessica Ball to serve as the next Director of the Delaware Division of the Arts. Ms. Ball most recently served as the Executive Director of the Delaware Arts Alliance and will assume the new role effective November 29th, 2021.

“The Division of the Arts plays an integral and vital role in supporting the arts and cultivating creativity to enhance the quality of life for all Delawareans,” said Secretary Bullock. “Jessica’s breadth of experience uniquely positions her to lead the Division to the next level, and I am excited that she has agreed to rise up to the challenge.”

“I’m honored to be appointed to serve the State of Delaware and its creative community as the Director of the Division of the Arts,” said Jessica Ball. “I am incredibly passionate about the ability of the arts to transform lives and communities for the better. The arts and culture sector stands ready to help Delaware recover from the social and economic trauma of the pandemic, and I’m excited to be a part of the rebuilding and reopening of our cultural scene.”

“My vision for the arts post-pandemic is one that is centered on increased access, diversity, equity, and inclusion. I am eager to work with the Division of the Arts staff and our partners throughout the State to advance the sector for the benefit of all Delawareans,” said Ball.

Having served as the Executive Director of the Delaware Arts Alliance since 2018, Ms. Ball oversaw all aspects of managing a statewide nonprofit organization and developed sector wide strategies to advance arts and culture. She serves as the Delaware State Captain for Americans for the Arts’ State Arts Action Network and volunteers on the Delaware Fund for Women’s Young Founders Committee and the Delaware MillSummit Planning Committee.

Ms. Ball holds dual master’s degrees in Historic Preservation and Landscape Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design and a Bachelor of Architecture from Florida International University.


Secretary of State Bullock Sends Diwali Greetings to All Delawareans

This year between November 2nd through 6th, the Delaware Department of State joins Indian Delawareans in celebrating Diwali, the annual festival of lights celebrated by Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs. Diwali, which is celebrated over the course of five days, symbolizes the spiritual “victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance.”

“As the world recovers from the pandemic, Diwali is a welcome reminder of the power that all of us have to bring light to our communities,” said Secretary of State Jeff Bullock. “To all our Indian neighbors, especially our sister state of Gujarat, may joy and gaiety surround you and your families forever. Happy Diwali!”

The Delaware Commission on Indian Heritage and Culture, a commission which is a part of the Delaware Department of State, consists of nine members whose mission is to foster effective relationships between the Indian American community and the larger community across the State of Delaware.

“May this Diwali be the harbinger of joy, prosperity, and positivity. As this holy occasion fills the air with love and laughter, I’m hoping this festival of lights and beauty brings your way bright sparks of contentment that stay with you through the days and years ahead,” said Palash Gupta, Chairman of the Delaware Commission on Indian Heritage and Culture. “I am very much honored by Secretary Bullock’s support to all Delaware Indian Americans, and the Commission looks forward to continuing working with him and his office on behalf of all Indian Americans.”

To learn more about the Indian Commission on Heritage and Culture, click here.


Delaware Natural Gas Prices Set to Rise Ahead of Winter Heating Season

Spanish version available here

Dover, Del—Natural gas prices have spiked in the past six months and are up more than 30 percent since the end of August 2021. This is largely due to increased U.S. demand and the ongoing energy crisis in Europe.

According to the Energy Information Administration, about 43 percent of Delaware households rely on natural gas for home heating.

“Due to the increase in wholesale natural gas prices, end-use customers will see an increase during the winter months,” said Delaware Public Advocate Andrew Slater. “However, there are ways to reduce your usage and keep utility bills reasonable. Energy utility bills are some of the only bills where amount owed is dependent on usage.”

Chesapeake Utilities recently filed changes to its Gas Sales Rate (GSR), a passthrough cost to customers, to reflect the higher natural gas prices. According to its filing in PSC Docket No. 21-0677, an average Residential Service 2 (RS-2) customer “using 700 CCF per year will experience an annual increase of approximately 6.03% or $62.30.”

Delmarva Power’s application to change its Gas Cost Rate (GCR), PSC Docket No. 21-0672, also reflected an increase in costs for residential customers. According to its filing, “a typical residential customer using 83 CCF in a winter month would be an increase of $5.64 or 6.1%.” Both rates will become effective, November 1, 2021, subject to refund, while the rates are reviewed by both the Division of the Public Advocate and Public Service Commission Staff.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating accounts for the biggest portion of consumers’ utility bills. Savings tips include turning your thermostat down a few degrees, replacing dirty furnace filters, weather stripping doors and windows, opening shades on sunny days, and closing vents and doors of unoccupied areas.

Delawareans can contact Energize Delaware about its Home Performance with Energy Star, Home Energy Counseling and Check-Up programs. These programs are designed to find areas that may need weatherization and could potentially produce savings.

For additional tips on lowering your gas bill, please contact your local utility. Chesapeake Utilities provides such tips at https://chpkgas.com/for-the-home/energy-savings-tools/lower-your-gas-bill/. Delmarva Power provides such tips at https://www.delmarva.com/Documents/Ways%20to%20Save%20Delmarva_2.20_ADAcomp.pdf.

Low-income Delawareans who are in need of financial assistance to meet their home energy costs may be eligible for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), a program administered jointly by the Delaware Division of State Service Centers (DSCC) and Catholic Charities, Inc. Beginning October 1st through March 31st, eligible households can apply to receive grants to help pay for fuel assistance for home heating, which includes electricity, natural gas, kerosene, propane, coal, or wood. Grants are made to both homeowners and renters.

Additionally, there is crisis assistance funding available to help households in crisis during the winter months. Income eligibility for LIHEAP is defined as 200% of the federal poverty level. For more information on LIHEAP or to apply, click here.

If you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Catholic Charities may have Utility Bill Relief Funding available for utility and fuel bill payments. Potential clients should contact Catholic Charities for more information. This funding was made available through Energize Delaware.