Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Senator Michael Katz introduces total repeal of Delaware Corporate Income Tax

An astounding, libertarian-oriented bill, SB 100 is awesome in terms of its brevity:

Section 1.  Amend Title 19 of the Delaware Code by repealing Chapter 19, Corporation Income Tax, in its entirety.
Section 2.  This Act shall become effective on the second January 1st following its enactment.

The act is co-sponsored by Senator Bunting, and Representatives Hocker, Ramone, and D. Short.

This has to be mentioned here, because it is not mentioned there.


Will McVay said...

Seems my comment on the DL article is being moderated, so I'll post it around elsewhere in the meantime...hope you don't mind, Steve.

I agree with them on dumping Booth and DeLuca. I met Bryan Townsend at a Common Cause presentation on campaign financing in a Citizens' United world and he seems like a great guy. We can all rest assured that Evan Queitsch has even less chance of being elected than I do, especially if Townsend manages to beat DeLuca in the primary, but my question is about Joe Booth.

There's no Democrat opposing him and his only primary opposition is frequently referred to on DL as "St. Bodie Girl". Do the Democrats have anyone waiting in the wings for the 19th SD? I'd love to put someone on the LP's ballot to pick up the pieces of a Booth/Bodie fight, but frankly, we can't win by ourselves and the only candidate we might have had was redistricted out. From my conversations with another prominent Bodie opponent, he's yet to find anyone willing to pony up the D filing fee. Hasn't been able to find someone to run on the L either, even though it's free. We'd be willing to nominate just about anyone. We'd prefer them to be able to pronounce the word "libertarian" but we'll teach them how to spell it.

Great insight on the bail bondsman bill. Reduce competition, protect a political rival, stinks to high heaven.

If I'm elected, fwiw, I can EASILY live on $43,605 and fully intend to serve as a full time legislator devoted to constituent service for the 7 months these clowns spend double dipping when they're not writing crappy legislation for teh lulz.

Surprised they didn't mention SB100 though. The bill is probably just posturing, but their rage faces would have made for an hour or two of quality entertainment.

Overall, great article. o7

delacrat said...

The legislation does not indicate that since corporations would pay no Delaware corporate income tax, the corporation would not be entitled to any services it now receives from the state. For example, under such a law, why should the state investigate and prosecute thefts of corporate property.

Tyler Nixon said...

"For example, under such a law, why should the state investigate and prosecute thefts of corporate property."

So are you saying that the act of paying taxes is the threshold for whether the victim of a criminal act, specifically theft of property, is entitled to justice?

Or are you saying that stealing from any person or entity that doesn't pay taxes isn't a crime?

Or are you saying that the state (and societal) interest in apprehending and bringing thieves to justice should be strictly a function of whether the thieves' victims have made or do make monetary contributions to the fisc?

I understand what you're saying, delacrat, but I think the interest in stopping thieves of any property from anyone is definitely not something any reasonable or rational official of public trust wants to make contingent on anything except the furtherance of justice against bad people, and certainly not tax policy.

tom said...

Just to be clear, this bill would not, by any stretch of the imagination, eliminate all taxation of corporations in Delaware. They would still be subject to the Franchise Tax, the Gross Receipts Tax, and numerous licensing fees.

SB 100 would merely eliminate the current double taxation of business profits on in-state activities.

Tyler Nixon said...

I ask all this because many many low-income or no-income people who pay no taxes get robbed all the time. Should we also tell them we'll investigate and prosecute thefts of their property as soon as they pay some taxes?

I think most libertarians would tell you that other than access to justice and the maintenance of basic civil order, the fact is that the services of which you speak are more than likely areas in which the government shouldn't be involved in, period.

If you want to eliminate free riders, you can't pick and choose. Just eliminate the incentive, which is the provision of services way way beyond what government should or is best equipped or capable of doing throughout all areas of society.

delacrat said...


My point is that since corporations receive services from the state, they should be taxed to pay for them.

Will McVay said...

If that's your argument, then perhaps they should be free to contract with a more reputable agency for those services and pay them instead of the State.

tom said...


perhaps you could elaborate on your point a bit.

how about listing some examples of these services that corporations receive, and how much it costs the state to provide each of them.

Dana Garrett said...

This proposed legislation is obscene on its face. If we must stomach the illusion of corporate personhood, then like all income generating persons corporations should be taxed.

tom said...

What's obscene Dana, is your lack of reading comprehension, your economic cluelessness, and your hypocrisy.

As noted above, there are three major ways that Delaware taxes businesses, in addition to nickel & diming them to death with myraid stupid fees and license requirements. SB 100 proposes to eliminate one of those mechanisms, probably the one that currently collects the least revenue.

And if you had any clue how economies actually work, you would realize that businesses never pay taxes -- they pass them on to their customers and employees in the form of higher prices and/or lower wages.

Finally, you claim to care about the poor and unemployed, yet you are a cheerleader against a bill that not only would bring more jobs to Delaware, but eliminate a tax that disproportionately hurts the poor. The rich don't care that Delaware's business taxes increase the price of every good or service by about 5%, because they are only spending a tiny fraction of their income. The poor on the other hand must make due with 5% less because their entire income goes into supporting themselves or their families.

anonone said...

In the Libertarian pipe-dream, there would be no FDA, no EPA, no CPA, and on and on and on...

The idea that corporations will self-regulate to the benefit of society and individuals because of "market forces" is demonstrably false, yet the Libertarians cling to the dogma that "free market forces" will suddenly cause corporations to become models of social benevolence.


So, corporations should be paying taxes to support enforcement of regulations governing their behavior, if nothing more.

Of course, if you're a Libertarian, I guess you wouldn't mind taking snake-oil for medicine, eating filthy and contaminated food, drinking poisoned water, driving unsafe cars, flying in dilapidated airplanes, etc. Because that is what an unregulated "free market" would bring.

Finally, many big corporations are making record profits and sitting on record amounts of cash that they are not investing. Why would giving them more cash by tax breaks make them more inclined to invest it?

It wouldn't.

What would help is to raise taxes on corporations and the wealthiest Americans, increase domestic government spending, and create more consumer demand. Demand is what drives jobs, not corporate tax breaks.

tom said...

Accusing Libertarians of being on drugs won't conceal your ignorance anonone.

Citing Federal agencies as a reason for keeping a State won't fly here. Out of the revenue Delaware's Corporate Income tax collects, precisely $0 goes to the FDA, EPA, CPA or any other federal TLA.

The invitation I extended to delacrat several comments above is open to you as well: please cite some examples of "regulations governing their behavior" that would go unfunded if SB 100 passed. for bonus points demonstrate that said regulations aren't duplicated at the federal level and therefore unnecessary.

Your last point is completely fallacious as well in two different ways:
1. By what mechanism would higher taxes on corporations and the wealthiest Americans and increased domestic government spending create more consumer demand?
2. What is high unemployment, if not demand for more jobs?

anonone said...


To answer your questions:

1) When people have money and jobs, they buy things and demand for things increases

2) High unemployment benefits corporations, not labor. It is not "demand" in the market sense that one can simply go out and "buy" a job.

3) Delaware has state corporate regulations that require enforcement and cost money to enforce. But it is typical pandering politicians to propose cutting taxes without proposing where they are going to cut spending.

Citing spending cuts based on the loss of revenue from ending corporate taxes isn't my job; it is the job of those who support the cuts. I don't support them, I support increasing them and spending the revenue to increase enforcement of environmental regulations, financial services regulations, improve infrastructure, provide educational grants, and create jobs.

Why don't you tell us what you propose cutting?

Tyler Nixon said...

"Of course, if you're a Libertarian, I guess you wouldn't mind taking snake-oil for medicine, eating filthy and contaminated food, drinking poisoned water, driving unsafe cars, flying in dilapidated airplanes, etc. Because that is what an unregulated "free market" would bring."

Shorter anonone: "Somalia!!!!!1!!1!!!"

We also don't mind burning straw-men, of which you seem to have quite a plentiful supply.

What you describe, interestingly, is exactly what socialist paradise is, as the people of the former USSR will attest.

delacrat said...

"Accusing Libertarians of being on drugs won't conceal your ignorance anonone." - Tom @ June 22, 2012 10:35 AM

Tom, can you quote where anonone accused "libertarians of being on drugs"? if not, don't you think you owe him/her an apology?

tom said...

Yes, about 4 comments up.

How else could you interpret "In the Libertarian pipe-dream..."?

For the eytemologically challenged among you, The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language defines it as:

pipe dream n. A fantastic notion or vain hope. [From the fantasies induced by smoking a pipe of opium.]

delacrat said...


If you want to confuse the literal for the figurative meaning of "pipe-dream", rather than man-up and apologize, well then, I suppose that's your right.

anonone said...

Funny. Tom, apparently, is another Libertarian who wants to read everything literally, except their own party platform.

I guess I should have written "the Libertarian's fantastic notion or vain hope" to help the people who are challenged by figures of speech.

Sorry, Tom.

anonone said...

Hey Tyler,

Actually, you don't even have to look at Somolia - those things are happening today in the U.S., even with regulations.

Counterfeit drugs and manufacturing parts, salmonella-tainted food, and corrupt bankers are huge problems, even with the inadequate regulations and enforcement that we have. If you really think that an unregulated free market is the solution for these ills, then you and I just disagree.

tom said...

Wow, for people who regularly post on a blog where Ad Hominem attacks are standard operating procedure, you certainly have thin skins.

Deal with it.

Meanwhile, when have I ever said the LP Platform wasn't meant to be interpreted literally?

For the record, I have read it (though I have not studied the most recent changes adopted at this year's convention in detail yet) and I agree with the majority of it.

Can you say the same of your Party's platform? (assuming you have a party affiliation. If not what of the party or parties whose candidates you vote for?)

tom said...

and as usual, the statist argument is that regulations don't work, so we need to make more of them.

anonone said...

I never said that regulations don't work. I said exactly the opposite. I said that we should spend the money to get even better regulations and stronger enforcement of the ones we have.

tom said...


"Why don't you tell us what you propose cutting?"

OK I will. I'm guessing you'll disagree with virtually all of it, but since you disagree with nearly everything I say, that's to be expected.

In the Fiscal Note, Sen. Katz estimates that the bill will cost the state $75 Million in revenue in the 1st year, and $150 M / year thereafter.

So i need to find $150 M in cuts.

The state should not be in the Charity business. Eliminate the Grants In Aid Bill. (savings $40 M)

Nor should the state be handing out Corporate Welfare. eliminate the Strategic Fund (savings $30 M)

We managed to survive for over 200 years w/o a Dept of Safety & Homeland Security until Delaware got caught up in the hysteria and stupidity that followed in the wake of the 9/11 attack. Eliminate this bloated atrocity but distribute half of its budget and personnel back to the agencies it was created from. (savings: $68 M)

End the so-called "War on Drugs". Stop arresting and prosecuting people for drug-law violations unless they occur in conjunction w/ some other crime. This accounts for approximately 10% of total arrests. Immediately release everyone in Prison, on Probation, Parole, or House Arrest who was convicted only of drug-law offenses. This accounts for roughly 16% of the Prison/Parole population. I'll be conservative and estimate this at 10% of the total Dept of Corrections budget, $2.5 M from Judicial, and $1 M from the Attorney General's Office since the state chooses not to make the actual figures available. Savings from State Police already accounted for above under Homeland Security. (savings: $29.5 M)

You would be hard pressed to find a library in Delaware that wouldn't be better managed w/o "help" from the Division of Libraries. Cut this down to an agency charged w/ facilitating Inter-Library Loans, Online Card Catalogs & other statewide cooperative efforts, collecting statistics, and helping libraries in impoverished areas find donations and endowments. Give 1 million of current budget as grants to local libraries. (savings: $2 M)

The current budget bill has $0.5 Million for "Medical Marijuana". Cut this wasted money until Jack Markell (or some future Governor) straps on some balls and creates a functional Medical Marijuana program as required by state law. (savings: $0.5 M)

Total Savings: $170 Million

I could have found lots more things I would cut (I didn't even touch Education, Health & Social Services, or state employee salaries & benefits) but I only needed $150 M. Use the extra $95M from the first year and $20M going forward to pay off state debt early and you'll save billions more on Debt Service.

Most of my figures came from the proposed FY2013 Budget (SB 260)

anonone said...

Thanks for stepping up, Tom. I'd agree with the drug law stuff and the homeland security stuff.

delacrat said...

"delacrat, perhaps you could elaborate on your point a bit.

how about listing some examples of these services that corporations receive, and how much it costs the state to provide each of them. " -Tom @ June 19, 2012 3:57 PM

Corporations benefit from public roads over which they receive supplies, make deliveries of finished product and from a police force to dissuade hijacking of such supplies and finished product. Corporations benefit from state courts to adjudicate and enforce contract law. And of course there is the infamous Strategic Fund.

One can argue about what the corporate shares of these costs are. However, it is not zero, as the Katz bill implies.

tom said...


"One can argue about what the corporate shares of these costs are. However, it is not zero, as the Katz bill implies."

And you continue to ignore the very much non-zero revenues collected by the Gross Receipts tax and the Franchise tax, which corporations are still subject to regardless of the Katz bill.

We can trivially dispense with the straw men of roads and police. Roads are primarily paid for via excise taxes on fuel. Corporations buy fuel just like any other user of the public roads.

The general deterrence that police provide, and which corporations benefit from, is a side effect of their other duties and comes with no guarantee. it is a well established precedent of law that the police have no duty to protect any specific individual or business. when a corporation actually wants to protect a shipment from hijacking they must use private security (for example: banks, which send and receive their deliveries via armored car service, and have armed private security guards present during loading and unloading).

I'll count courts, but note that: the loser of a civil case pays court costs, most modern contracts have an arbitration clause bypassing the state-run courts because both parties often believe that they will get a faster and fairer judgement privately, and that the cost of running the entire court system (not just the Chancery) is more than paid for by either of the other business taxes that you continue to ignore.

So corporations would be more justified in complaining about freeloaders using the court system they pay for than you are.

As for the "infamous Strategic Fund" -- I'm at least as opposed to corporate welfare as you are. we should eliminate that regardless of SB 100.