HB 62 set out to have homes reassessed once every 5 years for property taxes

DELAWARE – Property taxes could be changing for homeowners in the first state.

This comes as House Bill 62 is reintroduced to the house. The bill’s sponsor says it’s been a long time coming, “It requires that all property be reassessed every 5 years. Right now it is state law for there to be periodic reassessments,” said Delaware Representative Madinah Wilson-Anton.

Representative Madinah Wilson-Anton reintroduced House Bill 62 making sure that homeowners pay taxes at a fair rate, in a timely manner. “In 2020 there was a lawsuit against the state and the court found that because we hadn’t reassessed property in New Castle County, Kent County, Sussex County since 1983, 1987, and 1974 we were out of line with our constitutional requirement to do that,” she said.

If the bill passes, schools will also have to change their tax rates. David Maull with Indian River School District calls the legislation ‘revenue neutral.’ “What we’re going to have to do is adjust our tax rate downward pretty much to collect the same amount of money that we’re collecting now through property tax, and all of the school districts’ local funds come through property taxes,” said Maull.

He says the changes won’t be drastic because of current state law caps on how much schools can collect. However, the money they do receive will keep schools up and running. “All types of educational programs, supplies, part of it is used for minor capital improvements, curriculum supplies, equipment, those types of things, local funds are used across the board,” he added.

As the bill makes its way through the legislature property taxes haven’t been adjusted but if they do you could have 1 of 3 outcomes. “No one is paying a new rate yet, it’s still in the process, the estimation before the reassessment started was that 1/3 of homeowners would be paying more, 1/3 would stay the same, and 1/3 would be paying less,” the Representative said.

Representative Wilson-Anton says that if you haven’t already seen a surveyor at your property, you can expect them to still come around. Tyler Technologies is the contractor and they have a website for each county.

Indian River School District officials say state and federal funding also help the schools in the area. This bill will also impact state and county taxes.

HB 62 will have a housing committee hearing this month towards the end of March. If the bill is voted out of committee it will be heard in front of the house.

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