CHAPTER 178

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 81, TITLE 9, DELAWARE CODE, RELATING TO THE LIMITATION UPON TAXING POWER, BY EXEMPTING LANDS AND IMPROVEMENTS PRINCIPALLY DEVOTED TO HOUSING FOR THE ELDERLY CONSTRUCTED PURSUANT TO SECTION 231 OF THE NATIONAL HOUSING ACT FROM ASSESSMENT AND TAXATION.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:

Section 1. Chapter 81, Title 9, Delaware Code, is hereby amended by adding a new section, Section 8109, entitled "Nonprofit Housing For Elderly Persons":

Section 8109. Non-profit housing for elderly persons

(a) Land and improvements held by a church, religious society, charitable corporation, or non-profit organization principally devoted to housing of elderly persons and not held for investment and which is constructed pursuant to the provisions of Section 231 of the National Housing Act, as presently in effect and set forth in 12 U.S.C.A. 1715 and which is regulated by the Federal Housing Commissioner pursuant to this statute and pursuant to the applicable federal regulations presently in effect adopted by the Federal Housing Commissioner, shall not be liable to taxation and assessment for public purposes by any county or other political subdivision of this State; provided, however, that no less than 75% of the dwelling units in the property shall be rented and occupied at all times by elderly persons as herein defined and the entire property shall be operated on a non-profit basis.

(b) The term elderly persons shall mean persons who have attained their 62nd birthday.

(c) No church, religious society, charitable corporation, or non-profit organization shall be entitled to the exemption granted by this statute unless it is certified as tax exempt by

the State of Delaware for corporate franchise taxes and income taxes and by the United States Government for income taxes; such certification must be filed with the appropriate tax assessment office of the county and other political subdivision of this State in which the project is situate.

(d) No church, religious society, charitable corporation, or other non-profit organization shall be entitled to the exemption granted by this statute unless the following additional conditions are satisfied:

(1) An Affidavit must be filed with the taxing authorities of the county and other political subdivisions by the president of the organization or the executive director or presiding authority of the organization certifying that said organization is non-profit and that the project for which exemption is sought is operated on a non-profit basis and is principally devoted to housing for the elderly as defined herein. The Affidavit must further state the name and address of the officers of the organization, the purposes of the organization, and the basis for the authority of the officer to make and file such affidavit on behalf of the organization.

(2) A certified financial statement must be filed with the taxing authorities showing all income received by the organization from any source in connection with the project and all expenditures made to any person in connection with the project for which exemption is sought; the statement must be certified by a certified public accountant authorized and licensed to practice in this State. The statement must be filed on or before July 1 of each calendar year; a projected statement must be filed for the first year of operation.

(3) A certification must be filed with the taxing authorities of the county and other political subdivision by the authorized officials of the organization certifying, warranting and covenanting that the project for which exemption is sought will be operated on a non-profit basis during its entire existence and that it will not be sold, transferred, or conveyed except to another non-profit church, religious society, charitable corporation or non-profit organization qualifying for exemption

under this statute and will not be principally devoted to any purpose other than housing for elderly persons as defined herein. This certification shall bind the organization filing it in perpetuity and shall be enforceable in law and at equity by the county and other political subdivision of this State in which the project is situate.

(4) Any person, officer, or director acting on behalf of any church, religious society, charitable corporation, or nonprofit organization filing a false statement or certification shall be fined not less than $1,000.00 nor more than $10,000.00 and/or be imprisoned for not more than 10 years.

(e) The County Board of Assessment and the assessment boards of other political subdivisions shall each year establish the assessed value of any property for which exemption is granted pursuant to this statute in the same manner as other properties which are taxable are assessed. In the event that a project granted exemption by this statute is ever operated on a profit making basis or conveyed to a profit making corporation, organization or other person, or is principally devoted to any purpose other than housing for the elderly as defined herein, then and in that event, a tax lien shall attach to the land and improvements previously granted tax exemption, in the amount of the taxes which would have been due and owing the county and other political subdivision for all past years, including interest and penalties, if tax exemption had not been granted.

(f) Any church, religious society, charitable corporation, or non-profit organization granted a tax exemption by this statute shall pay to the county and other political subdivision in which the project is situate, in lieu of taxes, a special assessment in an amount not less than 10% of the gross rentals derived from the project, less the cost of utilities and the cost of providing special social services to the elderly persons residing in the project. This sum shall be divided between the county and other political subdivisions having authority to levy ad valorem taxes on land and improvements in which the project is situate in proportion to their respective tax rates.

Approved December 1, 1965.

Note: This act was codified as subchapter III, chapter 81, title 9 Delaware Code.