CHAPTER 114

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 261

AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 47, CHAPTER 158, VOLUME 36, LAWS OF DELAWARE, BEING THE CHARTER OF THE CITY OF DOVER, RELATING TO ORDINANCES.

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 Section 47, Chapter 158, Volume 36, Laws of Delaware by striking Section 47 in its entirety and by substituting in lieu thereof the following:

"Section 47. In the year 2001 and every third year thereafter, there shall be made a true, just, and impartial valuation and assessment of all real property within the city, locating each parcel of real property by street and number or other description. The valuation and assessment shall be made by an assessor or assessors who shall be elected by the Council at the previous December meeting by majority vote thereof. An assessor must be a freeholder within the corporate limits of the city. Before entering upon the duties of office, an assessor shall be sworn or affirmed by the Mayor to perform the duties of the assessor's office with fidelity and without favor or partiality.

In addition to an assessment every three years, the assessor or assessors shall include supplemental assessments made annually for the purposes of (1) adding property not included in the last assessment or (2) increasing or decreasing the assessment value of property which was included in the last general assessment.

The assessment made in the year 2001 and every third year thereafter and any supplemental assessments made annually shall be made prior to the first day of May in any given year and shall be known as the general assessment.

The general assessment shall be set down by the assessor or assessors in two (2) or more copies, as the Council shall direct, and shall be delivered to the Council as soon as made. The real property of the assessor or assessors shall be assessed by the Council. The Council shall, prior to the fifteenth day of May of the year 2001 and of every year thereafter, cause a copy of the general assessment to be posted in two (2) public places in the city for ten (10) days.

The Council may direct that appeals from any general assessment be heard by a committee of not less than three (3) Council members appointed by the Council president. The committee of Council members shall sit at a stated place and time to hear the appeals of all taxpayers dissatisfied with the assessment of their properties, shall collect such information as they consider proper and necessary, and shall report their findings and recommendations to a meeting of the full Council. At the meeting of the full Council the recommendations of the committee shall be received, together with such other information as the Council shall permit or require, and the appeal of each dissatisfied taxpayer shall be heard. The Council shall have full power to correct, revise, alter, add to, deduct, and take from the general assessment. The decision of a majority of the Council members elected shall be final and conclusive. A Council member may not vote on his or her own appeal.

Notice of the place and time that a committee of Council members will sit to hear appeals and of the place and time that the full Council will sit to act on such appeals shall be posted with the general assessment in two (2) public places for a period of ten (10) days. Notice of the posting of the copies of the general assessment and of the place and time of the meetings of the committee of Council members and of the full Council to hear appeals shall be published in at least one issue of a newspaper published in the city.

The assessment as revised and adjusted by the Council shall be the basis for the levy and collection of taxes for the city.

The Council shall have the right to levy and collect taxes on gas mains, telephone, telegraph, communications systems, or trolley poles or other erection of like character within the limits of the city, together with the wires thereon strung; and to this end the Council may at any time direct the same to be included in or added to the general assessment.

Whenever Council shall direct, all real property in the City of Dover shall be assessed by a certified independent outside appraiser chosen by Council. This assessment shall be in lieu of the valuation and assessment made by a freeholder assessor elected by Council as described hereinabove and in lieu of the assessor's duties described hereinabove.

Nothing contained in this section shall be deemed or held to invalidate or otherwise effect any assessment made prior to the approval of this section or any tax levied thereunder.".

Approved July 09, 2001