Sussex County this month will host a series of community meetings to provide the public an overview of the County’s forthcoming effort to reassess more than 180,000 commercial and residential properties in southern Delaware.
Five meetings and one virtual session have been scheduled to give the public an opportunity to better understand how the process known as reassessment works. The reassessment process, which will begin in October as assessors for the County’s contracted vendor, Tyler Technologies, hit the streets, is the first-ever general reassessment for the County and is scheduled for completion by 2024.
The reassessment process follows a years-long legal fight over real estate valuations used by Delaware’s counties to calculate annual property tax bills, with revenue collected for local government services and public education. Sussex County joined the State, as well as Kent and New Castle counties, in settling a lawsuit earlier this year. As part of that settlement, the counties agreed to conduct a general reassessment of all properties within their jurisdictions.
The public meetings scheduled for the reassessment process include:
- Thursday, Sept. 23, from 2 to 4 p.m., at the Milton Fire Department, 116 Front St., Milton;
- Thursday, Sept. 23, from 6 to 8 p.m., at Delaware Technical Community College-Owen Campus, 21179 College Drive, Georgetown;
- Monday, Sept. 27, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Delaware National Guard’s Bethany Beach Training Site, 163 Scannell Boulevard, Bethany Beach;
- Wednesday, Sept. 29, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Millsboro Town Center, 322 Wilson Highway, Millsboro; and
- Thursday, Sept. 30, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Seaford Volunteer Fire Department, 302 King St., Seaford.
All meetings are open to the public; masks and social distancing are required by some venues, so the public should prepare in advance to observe COVID-19 measures. County officials will be on hand, and representatives from Tyler Technologies will make a presentation at each meeting to explain the various components of a general reassessment.
In addition to the in-person sessions, one virtual session featuring the same presentation will be conducted as well. That meeting will be held Monday, Sept. 27, from 2 to 4 p.m., available on any computer or mobile device at https://bit.ly/3tCDel5.
As part of the Sussex County project, all properties will be evaluated and values re-calculated based on current industry-accepted methodologies to produce new assessments that will reflect their true value in money, a requirement under Delaware law.
Assessments, combined with a governing jurisdiction’s property tax rate, are part of the formula used to determine individual tax bills that property owners receive each year. Bills include taxes for both County and local independent school districts. Delaware law requires Sussex County to bill property owners for school taxes on behalf of the local districts, with those funds then turned over to the State. Approximately 10 percent of the typical residential tax bill in Sussex County is for County property taxes; the remaining 90 percent is for local schools.
County officials will provide additional updates as the reassessment process unfolds in the months ahead. For more information on the process, including a Q&A section, visit www.sussexcountyde.gov/assessment.