Sussex Co. to begin property reassessments after lawsuit settlement


SUSSEX COUNTY, Del. – Delaware is adding another chapter to its years-long legal battle over property values. The state settled with Delawareans for Educational Opportunity and the NAACP of Delaware earlier this year. Plaintiffs said that the model used for valuing property in Delaware is outdated, and puts public school students at a disadvantage.

As part of that settlement, all three counties agreed to conduct a general reassessment of all properties within their jurisdictions.In Sussex County, more than 180,000 residential and commercial properties will be reviewed. The county is asking for the public’s help in figuring out the best way to do the reassessment. Five in-person meetings and one virtual session have been scheduled to give the public a chance to weigh in, and learn about how the process works.

The in-person meetings will take place at the following times and locations: Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021, from 2 to 4 p.m., at Milton Fire Department, 116 Front St., Milton; Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021, from 6 to 8 p.m., at Delaware Technical Community College-Owen Campus, 21179 College Drive, Georgetown; Monday, Sept. 27, 2021, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Delaware National Guard-Bethany Beach Training Site, 163 Scannell Boulevard, Bethany Beach; Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021, from 6 to 8 p.m., at Millsboro Town Center, 322 Wilson Highway, Millsboro; Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021, from 6 to 8 p.m., at Seaford Volunteer Fire Department, 302 King St., Seaford.

The virtual event is happening Monday, Sept. 27, 2021, from 2 to 4 p.m. it will be available on any computer or mobile device at this link. The County is asking people to remember that each venue may have different COVID-19 policies. So, people planning to attend should prepare in advance. County officials will be on hand, as well as representatives from Tyler Technologies. The company will be handling the reassessment process. It’s the first time Sussex County has ever had a general reassessment.

The reassessment process includes evaluating and re-calculating properties based on current industry-accepted practices. The goal is the come up with new assessments that will show the true value of those properties. Those reassessments are all part of a formula used to determine individual tax bills that property owners must pay each year. The bills include taxes for both county and local independent school districts. Currently, Delaware law requires Sussex County property owners to pay school taxes on behalf of the school districts. Those funds are then turned over to the state of Delaware.

Categories: Delaware, Local News, Money