CHAPTER 457

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 83, TITLE 9, DELAWARE CODE, TO PERMIT THE RESPECTIVE GOVERNMENTS OF NEW CASTLE, KENT AND SUSSEX COUNTIES TO MAKE SUPPLEMENTAL ASSESSMENTS OF REAL PROPERTY LOCATED IN THEIR RESPECTIVE COUNTIES AND TO LEVY AND COLLECT REAL PROPERTY TAXES BASED ON SUCH SUPPLEMENTAL ASSESSMENTS; TO PROVIDE FOR A LIEN AGAINST PROPERTY FOR UNPAID TAXES SO LEVIED, TOGETHER WITH PENALTIES, AND TO PROVIDE APPEALS FROM SUCH SUPPLEMENTAL ASSESSMENTS.

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

Section 1. Title 9, Chapter 83, Delaware Code, is hereby amended by adding thereto the following new sections:

§ 8329. Supplemental assessments permitted quarterly

In addition to the annual assessment provided for in sections 8301 and 1311 of this title, each Board of Assessment of Kent and Sussex Counties and the Department of Finance of New Castle County may, at its option, prepare quarterly supplemental assessment rolls for the purpose of (1) adding property not included on the last assessment or (2) increasing the assessed value of property which was included on the last assessment. The supplemental assessment roll may be used to correct errors on the prior assessment rolls and to remove or modify any exemption from taxation applicable to property in the county.

§ 8330. Certification of supplemental assessment roll

(a) In New Castle County such supplemental assessment rolls shall be prepared quarterly during each fiscal year. The first such assessment roll shall be certified to the County Council of New Castle County on July 1 of each year, the second on October 1 of each year, the third on January 1 of each year and the fourth on April 1 of each year.

(b) In Kent County such supplemental assessment rolls shall be prepared quarterly in each fiscal year. The first such supplemental assessment roll shall be certified to the Levy Court of Kent County on June 1 of each year; the second on September 1 of each year; the third on December 1 of each year; and the fourth on March 1 of each year.

(c) In Sussex County such supplemental assessment rolls shall be prepared quarterly in each fiscal year. The first such supplemental assessment roll shall be certified to the Levy Court of Sussex County on May 1 of each year; the second on August 1 of each year; the third on November 1 of each year; and the fourth on February 1 of each year.

§ 8331. Levy of Tax and creation of a lien based on the supplemental assessment roll

On the date of certification of a supplemental tax roll to the respective Levy Court or County Council, (1) the property owners listed thereon shall be liable to pay taxes equal to the assessed value of the property multiplied by the tax rates for the then current fiscal year applicable to the property, reduced by 25% where the property is listed on the second supplemental assessment roll; by 50 % where the property is listed on the third supplemental assessment roll; and by 75% where the property is listed on the fourth supplemental assessment roll; and (2) the amount of such tax shall be and remain a lien on such property, together with any penalties which might thereafter accrue, until such taxes and penalties are paid in full. Such tax rates shall include, without limitation, the tax rate imposed by any School Boards for districts in which the property is located.

§ 8332. Retroactive taxation prohibited

In no case shall the supplemental assessment procedure be employed to impose taxes retroactively.

§ 8333. Notice required under supplemental assessment procedure

(a) Whenever the Board of Assessment or Department of Finance places a property on a supplemental assessment roll, it shall deposit notice thereof in the regular mail addressed to the owner of the property affected thereby at the address shown on the assessment rolls, or if the address of such owner does not appear on the assessment roll, then to the person occupying the property, or if there is no apparent occupant such notice shall be posted on the land. Such notice shall be given no later than the date on which the supplemental assessment roll on which the property appears is certified to the respective Levy Court or County Council.

(b) Each Board of Assessment or Department of Finance shall publish notices of the places where the supplemental assessment roll may be inspected together with a notice of the time and place of the sittings to hear appeals. The notices published by the Department of Finance for New Castle County shall also state the time and place for filing written notices of appeal with the Board or Department. Such notice shall appear at least once a week for 2 weeks in at least 2 newspapers in the case of Kent and Sussex Counties; and in at least 4 newspapers, one of which shall be published in the City of Wilmington, in the case of New Castle County. Such publication shall begin no later than the date on which the supplemental assessment roll was certified.

§ 8334. Appeal of supplemental assessment; penalties and interest

Within 30 days from the date notice of supplemental assessment was sent by the Board of Assessment or Department of Finance, the owner may appeal the supplemental assessment to the respective Board of Assessment or Board of Assessment Review. The appeal shall be scheduled and heard by the Board during its next regular appeal period as provided in this title. Pending determination of such appeal, the owner may (1) pay the tax imposed by the supplemental assessment, and if on appeal the assessment is reduced he shall be entitled to a refund of the taxes which he has overpaid plus interest thereon at the rate of 1 per cent per month; or (2) not pay the tax imposed by the supplemental assessment, in which case penalties shall accrue at the rate of 1 per cent per month on the amount of taxes computed in accordance with the determination of the appeal, and no action to collect the tax shall be taken until the appeal is determined. Such interest and penalties shall begin to accrue upon the expiration of three months from the date on which the unpaid tax became due and payable. Interest attributable to the overpayment of school taxes shall be paid by the school board of the districts entitled to receive such taxes.

§ 8335. Requirement of written reports

The provisions of section 8320 of this title may be utilized by the respective Boards of Assessment and the Department of Finance in connection with the annual and supplemental assessment procedures.

Section 2. This Act shall be effective immediately upon its adoption.

Approved August 9, 1968.