SENATE BILL NO. 75
AS AMENDED BY SENATE AMENDMENT NO. 1
AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 42, VOLUME 53, LAWS OF DELAWARE, AS AMENDED, ENTITLED AN ACT AMENDING, REVISING & CONSOLIDATING THE CHARTER OF THE CITY OF SEAFORD", TO CONFER UPON THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SEAFORD CERTAIN POWERS RELATING TO THE TAXATION OF REAL ESTATE TRANSFERS WITHIN THE CITY OF SEAFORD.
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 42, Volume 53, Laws of Delaware, as amended, by adding a new section following Section 25 to be designated as Section 25A to read as follows:
Section 25A: "Taxation of Real Estate Transfers"
(a) The City Council of the City of Seaford, in addition to all other powers conferred upon it by this Act, shall have the power and authority by ordinance or ordinances to levy, assess and collect or provide for the levying, assessment and collection of such taxes as shall be determined by the City 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 City of Seaford, 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 fifty percent (50%) of any tax levied by the State of Delaware upon the same property; 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 elected members of the City Council of the City of Seaford. 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 City Council of the City of Seaford 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, Chapter 54, Title 30, Del.C., shall be applicable to any realty transfer tax imposed pursuant to this Act.
(e) The City Council may provide by Ordinance for the collection of such tax by the Recorder of Deeds, or other- agent 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) The City Council shall not implement any ordinance or ordinances providing for a tax on the transfer of real property or any interest in real property 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 City Council of the City of Seaford. The City 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 city of Seaford 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 City of Seaford 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 of Election to be appointed by the Mayor of the City of Seaford 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. 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 City Council. The hours of the Special Election shall be from two o'clock In the afternoon, prevailing time, until six o'clock in the afternoon prevailing time, and such persons who are in the polling place at six o'clock in the afternoon, prevailing time, shall be entitled to vote even though such votes may be cast after six o'clock in the afternoon, 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 June 8, 1989.