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Bloomberg BNA recently posed a series of tax-centric questions to the Republican and Democrat candidates for governor in Delaware. Below are the responses from Democrat candidate John Carney.
Interview by Leslie Pappas
Since 2011, John Carney has served as Delaware’s lone member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Prior to his time in Congress, John served two terms as Delaware’s Lt. Governor. John also served as Chairman of the Delaware Healthcare Commission, the Criminal Justice Council, and the Delaware Science & Technology Council. Under then-Governor Tom Carper, John served as Delaware’s Secretary of Finance and Deputy Chief of Staff. Before that, he was Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for New Castle County, and on the staff of then-Senator Joe Biden. John currently lives in Wilmington with his wife Tracey. They have two sons, Sam and Jimmy.
Editor's Note: Carney provided a single, consolidated answer to five questions that sought his opinion about priorities on state and local tax issues, hurdles in enacting his tax policy priorities, challenges in the tax and revenue realm facing the state in light of market conditions and whether the state’s tax regime is properly balanced.
One of the most difficult challenges facing our next governor will be balancing the state's budget. With some of our revenue in decline and the cost of government continuing to grow, I believe it's time to take a fresh look at state spending and how we pay for government, particularly in light of the $300 million projected state budget deficit.
Increased spending in areas like health care are outpacing our ability to afford it, and crowding out other priorities like improving education and creating jobs. We need a “reset” that takes a hard look at spending and revenue. If Delaware state government is going to continue to offer the services it provides to a growing population, and expand in areas where it's weak, it will need to be more efficient and better able to eliminate unnecessary spending. A sustained focus on efficiency needs to be a permanent fixture of state government and embraced at the highest levels of all three branches. And, if we need to raise more revenue, we need an approach that promotes a growing economy, that's fair to all taxpayers, and that minimizes the burdens on those least able to pay.
As governor, I would work with business and other community leaders to get our budget back on track without sacrificing the quality services that so many Delawareans depend on.
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