SENATE BILL NO. 60
AN ACT PROPOSING AN AMENDMENT TO ARTICLE VIII OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE, RELATING TO. THE UNIFORMITY OF TAXES; ASSESSMENT AND TAXATION OF LAND DEVOTED TO AGRICULTURE AND FOREST USE; COLLECTION UNDER GENERAL LAWS; EXEMPTION FOR PUBLIC WELFARE PURPOSES.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware (two-thirds of all the members elected to each branch concurring therein):
Section 1. Amend Section 1 Article VIII of the Constitution of the State of Delaware by striking said section in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof a new section to read as follows:
"§1. Uniformity of taxes; assessment and taxation of land devoted to agriculture and forest use; collection under general laws; exemption for public welfare purposes
All taxes shall be uniform upon the same class of subjects within the territorial limits of the authority levying the tax, except as otherwise permitted herein, and shall be levied and collected under general laws passed by the General Assembly. County Councils of New Castle and Sussex Counties and the Levy Court of Kent County are hereby authorized to exempt from county taxation such property in their respective counties as in their opinion will best promote the public welfare. The county property tax exemption power created by this section shall be exclusive as to such property as is located within the respective counties with respect to real property located within the boundaries of any incorporated municipality; the authority to exempt such property from municipal property tax shall be exercised by the respective incorporated municipality; then in the opinion of the said municipality it will best promote the public welfare.
The legislature shall enact laws to provide that the value of land which is determined by the assessing officer of the taxing jurisdiction to be actively devoted to agriculture use and to have been so devoted for at least the two successive years immediately preceding the tax year in issue, shall, for local tax purposes, on application of the owner, be that value which such land has for agricultural use.
Any such laws shall provide that when land which has been valued in this manner for local tax purposes is applied to a use other than for agriculture, it shall be subject to additional taxes in an amount equal to the difference, if any, between the taxes paid or payable on the basis of the valuation and the assessment authorized hereunder and the taxes that would have been paid or payable had the land been valued and assessed as otherwise provided in this Constitution, in the current year and in such of the tax years immediately preceding, not less than two such years in which the land was valued as herein authorized.
Such laws shall also provide for the assessment and collection of any additional taxes levied thereupon and shall include such other provisions as shall be necessary to carry out the provisions of this amendment."