SENATE BILL NO. 18
AS AMENDED BY SENATE AMENDMENT NO. 1
AN ACT TO AMEND AN ACT, BEING CHAPTER 288, VOLUME 64, LAWS OF DELAWARE, AS AMENDED, ENTITLED AN ACT TO REINCORPORATE THE TOWN OF LAUREL" TO CONFER UPON THE TOWN COUNCIL OF THE TOWN OF LAUREL CERTAIN POWERS RELATING TO THE TAXATION OF REAL ESTATE TRANSFERS WITHIN THE TOWN OF LAUREL.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE (Two-thirds of all members elected to each House thereof concurring therein):
Section 1. Amend Chapter 288, Volume 64, Laws of Delaware, as amended, by adding thereto a new Section following Section 30, to be designated as Section 30A, to read as follows:
"Taxation of Real Estate Transfers
(a) The Town Council of the Town of Laurel, in addition to all other powers conferred upon it by this Act, shall have the power and authority by ordinance or ordinance to levy, assess and collect or provide for the levying, assessment and collection of such taxes as shall be determined by the Town Council to be paid by the transferor or transferee upon the transfer of real property or any interest in real property situate within the corporate limits of the Town of Laurel, regardless of where the instruments making the transfers are made, executed or delivered or where the actual settlements on such transfers occur; provided however, that no tax levied under this Section shall exceed one percent (1%) of the sale price (including the value of any assumed mortgage or mortgages); and provided further, that no tax shall be levied upon an organization exempted from ad valorem real estate taxes.
(b) No ordinance or ordinances providing for a tax on the transfer of real property or any interest in real property authorized under this Section shall become effective unless it receives an affirmative vote of two thirds (2/3) of all the elected members of the Town Council of the Town of Laurel. If the taxing power authority granted under this Section shall be exercised by way of a stamp affixed to a document presented for recording, the Recorder of Deeds, in and for Sussex County, shall not receive for record any document subject to such tax unless such stamps are affixed thereto.
(c) The Town Council of the Town of Laurel may adopt an ordinance or ordinances to provide for the effective administration and regulation of any tax adopted pursuant to the provisions of this Section.
(d) No tax levied under this Section shall exceed one percent (1%) of the sale price (including the value of any assumed mortgage or mortgages) or of the fair market value of the real property so transferred; and provided, however, that no tax shall be imposed upon an organization which is exempted from ad valorem taxes. The provisions of Section 5401 and Section 5403, Paragraph 54, Title 30, Del. C., shall be applicable to any realty transfer tax imposed pursuant to this Act.
(e) The Town Council may provide by Ordinance for the collection of such tax by the Recorder of Deeds, in and for Sussex County, and shall prescribe in such Ordinance the charge that will be paid for such collection of such realty transfer tax authorized by this Section.
(f) This Act shall not become effective until it shall be approved by a majority of the qualified voters at a Special Election to be held pursuant to a Resolution adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Laurel. The Town Council shall give notice of the Special Election by printing a copy of the Resolution calling the Special Election in at least two (2) issues of a newspaper having a general circulation within the corporate limits of the Town of Laurel within thirty (30) days immediately preceding the date of such Special Election. At the said Special Election, every person who is a bona fide resident of the Town of Laurel and who would be entitled at the time of the holding of the said Special Election pursuant to the provisions of this Act to register and vote in the Annual Municipal Election if such Annual Municipal Election were held on the day of the Special Election to be held pursuant to the provisions of this Act may vote at the said Special Election regardless of whether such person is registered to vote in the Annual Municipal Election. The Special Election shall be held by a Board of Election to be appointed by the Mayor of the Town of Laurel at least two (2) weeks before such Special Election. The Board of Election shall consist of an Inspector of the Special Election and such Judges as shall be appointed by the Mayor of the Town of Laurel. If a majority of the votes cast at the Special Election shall be in favor of the transfer tax authorized by this Act, the tax may be levied and collected as provided for in this Act. The Board of Election holding the Special Election shall meet immediately after the close of such Special Election to ascertain the result and shall certify the result to the Town Council. The hours of the Special Election shall be from one o'clock in the afternoon, prevailing time, until eight o'clock in the evening, prevailing time, and such persons who are in the polling place at eight o'clock in the evening, prevailing time, shall be entitled to vote even though such votes may be cast after eight o'clock in the evening, prevailing time. If the majority of the votes cast at any Special Election held under this Act shall be against the levying of the tax authorized by this Act, the proposition shall not again be submitted to the qualified voters until the expiration of ninety (90) days from the date of the said Special Election."
Approved March 30, 1989