County begins mailing property tax bills


Sussex County property owners soon will begin receiving their 2008 County tax bills, which will collect money to help fund local government services and schools through the current fiscal year.

In recent days, the County’s Treasury Division has printed more than 164,000 annual tax bills totaling an estimated $98.3 million. The bills include County property taxes, as well as County sewer and water, tax ditch and street lighting fees, where applicable.

Additionally, the statements include local school district taxes, which are collected by the County, but turned over to the State. Delaware law requires Sussex County to bill property owners for school taxes on behalf of the eight public school districts within the county.

The first mailings began Wednesday, July 23, 2008, and will continue through early August. Payment is due Sept. 30.

Amanda M. Bennett, director of the County’s Treasury Division, said this year will be the last time the County produces a paper bill for some property owners. The County next year will go to a paperless billing system only for those whose taxes are paid by a mortgage lender. Property owners with mortgage escrow accounts will be able to view their bills online, but will be able to request a copy of their account’s status, if needed.

“We hope that reduces our printing by about 50,000 bills next year,” Ms. Bennett said. “We believe that will save tremendously the amount of paper, time and money that goes into producing and mailing the documents. That will translate to a savings for the taxpayers.”

Sussex County accepts tax payments by cash, check, money order or credit card. Taxpayers have different options to make their payments. These include:

Through lender

Many taxpayers have their annual taxes paid out of an escrow account by their mortgage lenders. If these taxpayers have any questions regarding the status of their escrow accounts, they should contact their lenders.

Online

Payment can be made on the Internet, with the use of most major credit cards or by check. Go to www.sussexcountyde.gov/e-service/propertytaxes/ and select “Make a Payment” on the left side for more information.

By mail

Property owners can mail their tax payments using the return envelopes included in their statements. Bills should be addressed to the Sussex County Treasury Division, PO Box 429, Georgetown, DE 19947. All payments sent by mail must be postmarked by Sept. 30 to avoid the 1.5 percent penalty, per month, on unpaid balances.

In person or by telephone

The County’s tax office is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. The office is located on the second floor, Room 252, of the County Administrative Offices building, 2 The Circle, in Georgetown. For more information, call (302) 855-7760.