Issues Facing the Industry

Philly Soda Tax Could Give Delaware Food Stores Competitive Edge

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney has proposed a large three cent per ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages like soft drinks, sports drinks and juice drinks sold in the city. If passed by the city council, the tax would double the price of a12 pack of soda to over $8.

How will this impact the Delaware economy? Delaware merchants can expect a boost in sales from Philadelphia families looking to escape this exorbitant tax on their favorite drinks. We stand ready to welcome Philadelphia shoppers and encourage them to stay for a while and do all of their shopping in Delaware!

Government Relations

DFIC End of Session 2014

DFIC worked for many positive results that we can celebrate as the session ended in July. They include: no water or gas taxes and no $10.10 minimum wage increase. There was no money grab from the bottle bill, so the 4-cent tax on bottles will sunset in 2014 as planned. Retailers will no longer need to collect the fee and remit it to the state as of the end of the year. Delaware will officially become the first state to rescind a bottle deposit.

Other Bills
HB 198 — This plastic bag bill passed both the House and the Senate with a Senate amendment and is awaiting the Governor's signature. The plastic bag at store recycling program will continue as is with a new 3-year sunset. The new sunset will go until December of 2017.

HB 367 — This bill regarding Underground Storage Tanks makes it expressly clear in the definition of "facility" that a facility remains a facility under chapter 74, after any removal of tanks from the facility, and remains subject to remediation and other continuing requirements.

The bill clarifies the authority of the Department to access property and use Hazardous Substance Cleanup Funds to confirm suspected releases from underground storage tanks, and to investigate and clean up releases of petroleum and other hazardous substances resulting from leaking underground storage tanks. It also amends the financial responsibility statutory language to be consistent with existing federal requirements. Finally, in order to protect public health and the environment, the bill clarifies that, when site conditions warrant it, the department may require that an environmental covenant be placed on a property as part of a risk-based environmental cleanup of contamination resulting from a release from an underground or above ground storage tank.

HB 373 — A workers' compensation bill that would makes substantial changes to Titles 18 and 19 of the Delaware Code designed to control the level of workers' compensation premiums in Delaware. The most significant changes are (a) a 33% reduction in medical costs to the workers' compensation system, phased in over a period of three years; (b) absolute caps, expressed as a percentage of Medicare per-procedure reimbursements, on all workers' compensation medical procedures beginning on January 1, 2017; and (c) increased independence for the Ratepayer Advocate who represents ratepayers during the workers' compensation rate approval process and for the committee that oversees the cost control practices of individual workers compensation insurance carriers. It passed both the House and the Senate and is awaiting Governor's signature.,b,short