HOUSE BILL NO. 451
AN ACT TO AMEND THE CHARTER OF THE TOWN OF BETHANY, CHAPTER 295, VOLUME 65, LAWS OF DELAWARE, AS AMENDED, TO PROVIDE FOR QUARTERLY SUPPLEMENTAL ASSESSMENTS.
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 § 8.2.1 (“Making the Assessment”) of Chapter 295, Volume 65, Laws of Delaware, by deleting it in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following:
“§ 8.2.1 Making the Assessment.
(a) Annual Assessment. If appointed, the Board of Assessment shall, prior to the first day of April of each year, make a just, true, and impartial annual evaluation or assessment of all real estate and improvements located within the Town of Bethany Beach. All real estate shall be described with a sufficient particularity to be identified. Real estate shall be assessed to the owner or owners if he or they be known. If the owner or owners of real estate cannot be found or ascertained, it may be assessed to ‘owner unknown’. A mistake in the name of the owner or owners or a wrong name or an assessment to ‘owner unknown’ shall not affect the validity of the assessment of any municipal tax or assessment based thereon; provided, however, the assessment shall specify the last owner of record or owners thereof as the same shall appear from the records in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds in and for Sussex County.
(b) Supplemental Assessment. In addition to the annual assessment provided herein, the Board of Assessment may, at the option of the Town Council, prepare quarterly supplemental assessments for the purposes of:
(1) adding property not already valued and included in the last assessment; and
(2) revising the valuation and assessment of all real property which has undergone some significant change of conditions as to materially change the true market value thereof since the last assessment.
If requested by the Town Council, the Board of Assessment shall prepare the quarterly supplemental assessments no later than the first day of June, September, and/or December of each year. In no case shall the quarterly supplemental assessment procedure be employed to impose taxes retroactively.
Section 2. Amend § 8.2.3 (“Delivery of Assessment List”) of Chapter 295, Volume 65, Laws of Delaware, by deleting in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following:
“§ 8.2.3 Delivery of Assessment List. The Board of Assessment, after making an annual assessment, shall deliver to the Town Council of the Town of Bethany Beach prior to the first day of April of each year, a list containing the names of owners of all properties assessed and the amounts of assessments against each. The Board of Assessment, after making any quarterly supplemental assessment, shall deliver to the Town Council of the Town of Bethany Beach, by the first day of June, September, and/or December, a list containing only the names of owners of all properties having a change in assessment due to the quarterly supplemental assessment and the amount of assessment against each. The Board of Assessment shall also deliver at such time as many copies of said list as the Town Council shall direct.”.
Section 3. Amend § 8.3.1 (“Posting of Assessment List; Notice”) of Chapter 295, Volume 65, Laws of Delaware, by deleting it in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following:
“§ 8.3.1 Posting of Assessment List; Notice. Immediately upon receiving the annual or quarterly supplemental assessment list from the Board of Assessment, the Town Council shall cause a full and complete copy of the same, containing the amount assessed to each taxable, to be made available for public inspection at the Town Office, and there it shall remain for at least fourteen (14) days for the information of an examination by all concerned. Public notice of the posting of said assessment list, and the date, place, and time where the Town Council will sit as a Board of Revision and Appeal to hear appeals from said assessments and to make such corrections and revisions as it deems appropriate shall be posted in at least five (5) public places in the Town and published at least once in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town not less than fourteen (14) days prior to the day set for the hearing of such appeals. Whenever the Board of Assessment places a property on the quarterly supplemental assessment list, the Town Council shall deposit notice thereof in the regular mail addressed to the owner(s) of the property affected thereby at the address shown on the assessment list, or if the address of such owner(s) does not appear on the assessment list, then to the person occupying the property, or if there is no apparent occupant, such notice shall be posted on the property. Such notice of the quarterly supplemental assessment list shall be given not less than fourteen (14) days prior to the day set for hearings for any appeals before the Town Council as a Board of Revision and Appeal. During quarterly supplemental assessments, only the names shown on the quarterly supplemental assessment list may make appeals from said assessment. The mailing or posting, as the case may be, shall be conclusive evidence that notice to the property owner was received.”.
Section 4. Amend § 8.3.2 (“Appeals Day”) of Chapter 295, Volume 65, Laws of Delaware, by inserting a new paragraph at the end of said Section as follows:
“Upon completion of the appeal process under this Section, the Town Council shall at that meeting or at the next ensuing regular meeting, adopt a resolution approving the final annual or quarterly supplemental assessment list, as the case may be (including any and all charges, costs, or other assessments owed to the Town and add it to the assessment list under § 8.2.4).”.
Section 5. Amend § 9 (“Levy of Taxes; Tax Limit”) of Chapter 295, Volume 65, Laws of Delaware, by inserting a new subparagraph 9.3.1 (“Supplemental Tax Bill”) after § 9.3 (“Levy of Tax”) as follows:
“ § 9.3.1 Supplemental Tax Bill. Whenever a change occurs in the assessed value of any taxable property as a result of a quarterly supplemental assessment under § 8.2.1(b), the Town Manager shall issue a supplemental tax bill based on the revised assessment, pro-rated for the remainder of the then current year after the valuations and quarterly supplemental assessments have been examined, adjudged, and approved by the Town Council as provided in § 8.3.2. The amount shown on the supplemental tax bill shall be due sixty (60) days from the date of the supplemental tax bill; any supplemental tax bill not paid by the due date as provided herein shall be delinquent and subject to the same penalties and collection remedies as any other delinquent tax bills.”.
Section 6. This Bill shall become effective immediately upon the Governor’s signature.
Approved July 12, 2004