Indian River School District announces lower property taxes

SUSSEX CO., Del. – The Indian River School District has announced they will be lowering property taxes by about three cents very soon. This comes just months after the district tried to raise property taxes in two separate referendums.

Superintendent Mark Steele said, “I just did a quick calculation earlier and it will drop somebody who has a $20,000 home assessment by about $7 roughly.”

Not everyone is happy about the decrease, and that’s because they’d rather see that money go towards our students.

Blakelyn Davis, a resident said, “I am all about our future, I have a little one, so I’m thinking about her and I’m all about them expanding and doing more one on one in the classrooms.”

You may remember the district wanted to raise property taxes in order to expand their schools to accommodate their growing student population. The district tried to pass two referendums to do this but both failed. Now the school will be bringing in portable classrooms to make due.

Superintendent Steele said, “We’ve already contracted to bring in portable units at Sussex Central High School and up at North Georgetown and converting library space to classrooms and at Selbyville Middle School.”

But the question remains: how exactly is the school able to lower property taxes? It’s all thanks to a decrease in the minor cap, tuition and debt service.

Superintendent Steele said, “We were able to drop this time about a cent and a half both debt service and tuition.”

If the referendums had passed, that would have caused the debt service to go up causing an increase in taxes.

Overall, Superintendent Mark Steele is remaining positive saying he’s happy taxpayers won’t have to pay as much this year.

“Six, seven dollars doesn’t sound like a lot but for some people its a lot and you know, it would behoove us not to make sure that any time we can reduce we should reduce,” he said.

People living in the Indian River School District can expect to see an adjustment on their tax bill when the next round of taxes comes out in late August or early September.

Indian River currently has the lowest school property tax rate in Sussex County. Since 2015, property taxes have decreased by almost 23 cents.

We asked if the school district would consider passing another referendum in the future and they tell us it’s being discussed.

Categories: Delaware, Local News