Article VIII, Delaware Constitution

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Delaware Constitution
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Article VIII of the Delaware Constitution is entitled Revenue and Taxation It has 11 sections.

Section 1

Text of Section 1:

Uniformity of Taxes; Assessment and Taxation of Land Devoted to Agriculture and Forest Use; Collection under General Laws; Exemption for Public Welfare Purposes

All taxes shall be uniform upon the same class of subjects within the territorial limits of the authority levying the tax, except as otherwise permitted herein, and shall be levied and collected under general laws passed by the General Assembly. County Councils of New Castle and Sussex Counties and the Levy Court of Kent County are hereby authorized to exempt from county taxation such property in their respective counties as in their opinion will best promote the public welfare. The county property tax exemption power created by this section shall be exclusive as to such property as is located within the respective counties. With respect to real property located within the boundaries of any incorporated municipality, the authority to exempt such property from municipal property tax shall be exercised by the respective incorporated municipality, when in the opinion of said municipality it will best promote the public welfare.

The legislature shall enact laws to provide that the value of land which is determined by the assessing officer of the taxing jurisdiction to be actively devoted to agriculture use and to have been so devoted for at least the two successive years immediately preceding the tax year in issue, shall, for local tax purposes, on application of the owner, be that value which such land has for agricultural use.

Any such laws shall provide that when land which has been valued in this manner for local tax purposes is applied to a use other than for agriculture, it shall be subject to additional taxes in an amount equal to the difference, if any, between the taxes paid or payable on the basis of the valuation and the assessment authorized hereunder and the taxes that would have been paid or payable had the land been valued and assessed as otherwise provided in this Constitution, in the current year and in such of the tax years immediately preceding, not less than two such years in which the land was valued as herein authorized.

Such laws shall also provide for the assessment and collection of any additional taxes levied thereupon and shall include such other provisions as shall be necessary to carry out the provisions of this amendment.[1]

Section 2

Text of Section 2:

Revenue Bills to Originate in House; Amendments by Senate; Restriction on Definitions; Exclusion of Unrelated Matter

All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose alterations as on other bills; and no bill from the operation of which, when passed into a law, revenue may incidentally arise shall be accounted a bill for raising revenue; nor shall any matter or cause whatever not immediately relating to and necessary for raising revenue be in any manner blended with or annexed to a bill for raising revenue.[1]

Section 3

Text of Section 3:

Borrowing Money; Specification of Purpose; Surplus Borrowed Money

No money shall be borrowed or debt created by or on behalf of the State but pursuant to an Act of the General Assembly, passed with the concurrence of three fourths of all the members elected to each House, except to supply casual deficiencies of revenue, repel invasion, suppress insurrection, defend the State in war, or pay existing debts; and any law authorizing the borrowing of money by or on behalf of the State shall specify the purpose for which the money is to be borrowed, and the money so borrowed shall be used exclusively for such purpose; but should the money so borrowed or any part thereof be left after the abandonment of such purpose or the accomplishment thereof, such money, or the surplus thereof, may be disposed of according to law.[1]

Section 4

Text of Section 4:

Restrictions on Loan of Public Money or Bonds and Credit of State

No appropriation of the public money shall be made to, nor the bonds of this State be issued or loaned to any county, municipality or corporation, nor shall the credit of the State, by the guarantee or the endorsement of the bonds or other undertakings of any county, municipality or corporation, be pledged otherwise than pursuant to an Act of the General Assembly, passed with the concurrence of three fourths of all the members elected to each House.[1]

Section 5

Text of Section 5:

Capitation Tax; Uniformity; Use

The General Assembly shall provide for levying and collecting a capitation tax from every citizen of the State of the age of twenty-one years or upwards; but such tax to be collected in any County shall be uniform throughout that County, and such capitation tax shall be used exclusively in the County in which it is collected.[1]

Section 6

Text of Section 6:

Procedure in withdrawal and payment of public moneys; annual publication of receipts and expenditures; limitation upon appropriations.

(a) No money shall be drawn from the treasury but pursuant to an appropriation made by Act of the General Assembly; provided, however, that the compensation of the members of the General Assembly and all expenses connected with the session thereof may be paid out of the treasury pursuant to resolution in that behalf; a regular account of the receipts and expenditures of all public money shall be published annually.

(b) No appropriation, supplemental appropriation or budget act shall cause the aggregate State General Fund appropriations enacted for any given fiscal year to exceed 98 percent of the estimated State General Fund revenue for such fiscal year from all sources, including estimated unencumbered funds remaining at the end of the previous fiscal year. An act approved pursuant to § 3 of this article shall not be considered an appropriation for the purpose of this section. Estimated unencumbered funds are calculated by taking the estimated General Fund cash balance at the end of the fiscal year less estimated revenue anticipation bonds or notes, estimated encumbrances, estimated continuing appropriations and the amount of the Budget Reserve Account as established in subsection (d) of this section at the end of said fiscal year. The amount of said revenue estimate and estimated unencumbered funds remaining shall be determined by the most recent joint resolution approved from time to time by a majority of the members elected to each House of the General Assembly and signed by the Governor.

(c) Notwithstanding subsection (b) of this section, any portion of the amount between 98 and 100 percent of the estimated State General Fund revenue for any fiscal year as estimated in accordance with subsection (b) of this section may be appropriated in any given fiscal year in the event of emergencies involving the health, safety or welfare of the citizens of the State, such appropriations to be approved by three-fifths of the members elected to each House of the General Assembly.

(d) There is hereby established a Budget Reserve Account within the General Fund. Within 45 days after the end of any fiscal year, the excess of any unencumbered funds remaining from the said fiscal year shall be paid into the Budget Reserve Account, provided, however, that no such payment will be made which would increase the total of the Budget Reserve Account to more than 5 percent of only the estimated State General Fund revenues as set by subsection (b) of this section. The excess of any unencumbered funds shall be determined by subtracting from the actual unencumbered funds at the end of any fiscal year an amount which together with the latest estimated revenues is necessary to fund the ensuing fiscal year's General Fund budget including the required estimated General Fund supplemental and automatic appropriations for said ensuing fiscal year less estimated reversions. The General Assembly by a three-fifths vote of the members elected to each House, may appropriate from the Budget Reserve Account such additional sums as may be necessary to fund any unanticipated deficit in any given fiscal year or to provide funds required as a result of any revenue reduction enacted by the General Assembly.[1]

Amendments

  • Paragraphs (b), (c), (d) added in 1980.

Section 7

Text of Section 7:

Real Estate Assessments; Inclusion of Values

In all assessments of the value of real estate for taxation, the value of the land and the value of the buildings and improvements thereon shall be included. And in all assessments of the rental value of real estate for taxation, the rental value of the land and the rental value of the buildings and the improvements thereon shall be included. The foregoing provisions of this section shall apply to all assessments of the value of real estate or of the rental value thereof for taxation for State, county, hundred, school, municipal or other public purposes.[1]

Section 8

Text of Section 8:

Lending Credit, Appropriating Money to or Becoming Interested in any Private Corporation, Person or Company by County or Municipality

No county, city, town or other municipality shall lend its credit or appropriate money to, or assume the debt of, or become a shareholder or joint owner in or with any private corporation or any person or company whatever.[1]

Section 9

Text of Section 9:

Retroactive Increase of Taxation of Personal Income

Any law which shall have the effect of increasing the rates of taxation on personal income for any year or part thereof prior to the date of the enactment thereof, or for any year or years prior to the year in which the law is enacted, shall be void.[1]

Section 10

Text of Section 10:

Limitation on Increase of Rate of Taxes and License Fees; Exception to Meet Obligation under Faith and Credit Pledge; Allocation of Public Moneys to Meet Such Obligation if Revenues Are Not Sufficient to Meet Such Pledge

(a) The effective rate of any tax levied or license fee imposed by the State may not be increased except pursuant to an act of the General Assembly adopted with the concurrence of three-fifths of all members of each House.

(b) Prior to the beginning of each fiscal year of the State, the General Assembly shall appropriate revenues of the State to pay interest on its debt to which it has pledged its faith and credit and which interest is payable in the year for which such appropriation is made and to pay the principal of such debt, payable in such year, whether at maturity or otherwise. To the extent that insufficient revenues of the State are available to pay principal of and interest on such debt when due and payable, the first public moneys of the State thereafter received shall be set aside and applied to the payment of the principal of and interest on such debt. To make up for such insufficient revenues, the General Assembly may increase the rate of taxes and fees without regard to the limitations of subsection (a) hereof after the failure to pay when due the principal of and interest on such debt.[1]

Amendments

  • Section 10 added in 1980.

Section 11

Text of Section 11:

Imposition or Levy of New Taxes or License Fee

(a) No tax or license fee may be imposed or levied except pursuant to an act of the General Assembly adopted with the concurrence of three-fifths of all members of each House.

(b) Prior to the beginning of each fiscal year of the State, the General Assembly shall appropriate revenues of the State to pay interest on its debt to which it has pledged its faith and credit and which interest is payable in the year for which such appropriation is made and to pay the principal of such debt, payable in such year, whether at maturity or otherwise. To the extent that insufficient revenues of the State are available to pay principal of and interest on such debt when due and payable, the first public moneys of the State thereafter received shall be set aside and applied to the payment of the principal of and interest on such debt. To make up for such insufficient revenues, the General Assembly may increase the rate of taxes and fees without regard to the limitations of subsection (a) hereof after the failure to pay when due the principal of and interest on such debt.

(c) This amendment shall not apply to any tax or license fee authorized by an act of the General Assembly but not effective upon the effective date of this amendment.[1]

See also

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