CHAPTER 26

AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 8131, 8132, 8133, 8134, 8136, 8138, TITLE 9, DELAWARE CODE, RELATING TO EXEMPTIONS FROM TAXATION ON REAL PROPERTY OF RESIDENTS OF THIS STATE OF THE AGE OF SIXTY-FIVE OR MORE YEARS HAVING AN INCOME NOT IN EXCESS OF $3,000.00 PER YEAR.

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

Section 1. Section 8131, Title 9, Delaware Code, is amended by striking therefrom the words "or the taxpayers fiscal year . . ." under the definition of "Income". Further amend Section 8131 by striking the words ". . . but no taxpayer shall use a fiscal year basis unless he so elects to do and files his Federal Income Tax return on such basis."

Section 2. Section 8131, Title 9, Delaware Code, is amended by striking therefrom the last paragraph set forth therein containing a definition "of family."

Section 3. Section 8132, Title 9, Delaware Code, is amended by striking that section in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new Section 8132 to read as follows:

Section 8132. Qualifications and amount of exemption

Every person a resident of this State of the age of sixty-five or more years, having an income not in excess of $3,000 per year and residing in a dwelling house owned by him which is a constituent part of his real property, shall be entitled, on proper claim being made therefrom, to exemptions from taxation on such real property to an assessed valuation not exceeding $5,000 in aggregate, except that (1) no such exemption shall be in addition to any other exemption to which said person may be entitled, and (2) no such exemption shall be permitted where said person's spouse lives in said dwelling house and has an income in excess of $3,000 per year.

Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to apply to property taxes levied within and by a municipality.

Section 4. Amend Section 8133, Title 9, Delaware Code, by changing the first sentence to read, "No exemption from taxation on the valuation of real property as provided herein shall be allowed except on written application therefor, which application shall be on a form prescribed by the Department of Finance for New Castle County or the Board of Assessment for Kent County or the Board of Assessment for Sussex County and provided for the use of the claimants hereunder by the governing body of the taxing district in which such claim is to be filed.

Section 5. Section 8134, Title 9, Delaware Code, is amended by deleting the present section and inserting in lieu thereof the following section :

Section 8134. Contents of application

Every fact essential to support a claim for exemption under this subchapter shall exist on September 1 of the pretax year. Every application by a claimant therefor shall establish that he was, on September 1 of the pretax year (a) a resident of this State for the period required, (b) of the age of 65 or more years, (c) the owner of a dwelling house which is a constituent part of the real property for which such exemption is claimed, (d) residing in said dwelling house. Such applicant shall also establish that his income for the yearly period as provided by this subchapter, did not exceed $3,000 and that no spouse of the claimant lives in said dwelling house and has an income in excess of $3,000 per year

Section 6. Amend Section 8136 by deleting the present section and inserting in lieu thereof the following section :

Section 8136. Continuance of exemption.

It shall be the duty of the claimant to establish his qualifications as outlined in this law each year and any assessor may, at any time, require the filing of a new application

or such proof as he shall deem necessary to establish the right of the claimant to continuance of the exemption. It shall be the duty of every' claimant to inform the assessor of any change in his status or property which may affect his right to the continuance of the exemption.

Section 7. Amend Section 8138, Title 9, Delaware Code, by striking the words "Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer" and substituting therefor the words "Department of Finance of. New Castle County or Board of Assessment for Kent County or Board of Assessment for Sussex County."

Further amend Section 8138 by changing the singular pronoun "he" to the plural form "they" whenever it appears in said section, and the possessive pronoun "his" to the plural form "their".

Approved June 8, 1967.