COUNTY TREASURER AND COLLECTION OF TAXES.
AN ACT to amend Chapter 82, Volume 28, Laws of Delaware, being 'An Act to provide for the More efficient collection of taxes in Sussex County by establishing the office of Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer, and prescribing the duties of said office, and abolishing the office of County Treasurer and the office of Collector of Taxes."
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware, in General Assembly met:
Section 1. That Chapter 82, Volume 28, Laws of Delaware, be amended by striking out all of the first paragraph of Section 10 of said Chapter, and inserting in lieu thereof the following:
"Section 10. In pursuance of public notices, the said Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer shall attend in person, or by deputy, not less than once in every month during the months of July, August, September, October and November of each year, at some convenient and public plate in each representative district in Sussex County, there to receive the taxes of any taxable in said representative district, or of any taxable in any adjoining representative district, and at such times and places he, or his deputy, shall sit at least six hours on every day so appointed."
Section 2. That Chapter 82, Volume 28, Laws of Delaware, be further amended by the addition of a new paragraph to Section 13 of said Chapter, as follows:
"If the Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer shall have instituted lawful proceedings for the collection of taxes in respect of any taxable, and it shall thereafter appear that the said tax is uncollectible, by reason of error in the assessment lists or otherwise, and not due to the real default or neglect of the Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer, or, if property, real or personal, of any taxable, sold for the payment of taxes, shall not bring a sum sufficient to pay and discharge the lawful fees, mileage, costs and charges of the Justice of the Peace, constable, sheriff, Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer, or other officer, the said Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer not being in real default or neglect, in such cases the fees, mileage, costs and charges as aforesaid, shall be paid by the Levy Court; subject to the right of the Levy Court to be convinced that no unnecessary or improper costs have been incurred. The Justice of the Peace, Constable, Sheriff and Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer shall be entitled to the same fees, mileage, costs and charges as are now, or hereafter may be, chargeable in other civil actions before a Justice of the Peace, or as are hereinafter prescribed in respect of the Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer; and mileage shall be chargeable by the Sheriff or Constable upon a return of non est inventus, or mortal's est. The provisions of this paragraph shall apply to all lawful proceedings heretofore instituted for the collection of taxes."
Section 3. That Chapter 82, Volume 28, L11w14 of Delaware, be further amended by striking out the second paragraph of Section 15 of said Chapter, and by inserting in lieu thereof the following:
"He may select and employ one deputy, at an annual salary of twelve hundred dollars, which salary shall be likewise paid to said deputy by warrants of the Levy Court, in equal monthly installments. The said Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer may employ other and additional assistance in his office as may be required from time to time, provided the cost thereof shall not, in any one year, exceed the sum of four hundred dollars, which said other and additional assistance shall be paid by the Levy Court of Sussex County, upon the presentation by the Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer of itemized, sworn statements thereof."
Section 4. That Chapter 82, Volume 28, Laws of Delaware, be further amended by striking out subsections B. and D. of Section 18 of said Chapter, and by inserting in lieu thereof the following:
B. At any time after the delivery of the duplicates and warrants, and without notice to the taxable, the Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer may institute suit before any Justice of the Peace of the State of Delaware, in any of the Counties in said State, for the recovery of any tax due and unpaid, and, in an action of debt, may recover judgment against any taxable; and upon such judgment may sue out writs of execution, as in case of other judgments recovered before a Justice of the Peace. The action shall be brought in the name of "________" Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer for Sussex County.
The said execution shall be and constitute a lien upon all the personal property of the taxable within the County of Sussex which, by virtue of said execution, shall be levied upon within thirty days after the issuance thereof, and such lien shall have preference and priority to all other liens on said personal property created or suffered by said taxable, although such other lien or liens be of a date prior to the time of the attachment of such lien for taxes.
D. If the Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer shall-be unable to find property of a taxable from which to collect the tax due, it shall be lawful for the said Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer, and it shall be his duty, to make complaint under oath to any Justice of the Peace in Sussex County, and thereupon the said Justice of the Peace shall issue a warrant for the arrest of said taxable; and if, after hearing, it shall be found by the said Justice that the tax in respect of such person so arrested is due and owing, the said Justice shall commit the taxable to the County Jail until the tax, and all fees, costs and charges shall be fully paid.
Section 5. That Chapter 82, Volume 28, Laws of Delaware, be further amended by striking out all of said Section 20 of said chapter, and inserting in lieu thereof the following:
Section 20. Every sale of lands and tenements shall be returned by the Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer to the Superior Court, in and for Sussex County, at the next term thereof, and the Court shall inquire into the circumstances, and either approve said sale, or set it aside. If it be approved, the Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer making the sale shall make a deed to the purchaser, which shall convey the title of the taxable, or of his alienee, as the case may be; if it be set aside, the Court may order another sale, and so on until the tax due be collected. The certificate filed, together with the return and deed, shall be presumptive evidence of the regularity of the proceedings.
In the event of the death, resignation or removal from office of the Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer before the proceedings for the sale of land shall have been completed, his successor in office shall succeed to all of his powers, rights and duties in respect of said sale; and in case the term of office of any Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer shall expire before the proceedings for the sale of lauds shall have been completed, the said Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer shall continue in his powers, duties and responsibilities in respect of said sale until the same shall have been finally approved by the Court; Provided, that if any outgoing Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer shall die or remove from the State before any sale of lands conducted by him shall have been approved by the Court, in such case the Superior Court of the County aforesaid shall have jurisdiction to direct the Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer then in office to make and complete returns of sale, and to execute and deliver deeds for the land so sold."
Section 6. That Chapter 82, Volume 28, Laws of Delaware, be further amended by striking out all of Section 21, and inserting in lieu thereof the following:
Section 21. In cases of sale of land for the payment of taxes, the following costs shall be allowed to be deducted from the proceeds of sale, or chargeable against the owner:
To the Prothonotary:
For filing and recording certificate 1 00
For filing and recording return of sale 1.50
For preparing certificate $ .25
For making sale of lands 2.00
For preparing and filing return 1.50
For posting handbills 1.00
In addition the costs of printing handbills and publication of advertisements of sale, together with the miles necessarily travelled by the Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer in posting the handbills as required by Section 19, shall be chargeable as costs, as aforesaid. Mileage shall be computed and charged at five cents for every mile necessarily travelled.
The cost of the deed shall not be chargeable as costs, but shall be paid by the purchaser.
Section 7. That Chapter 82, Volume 28, Laws of Delaware, be further amended by striking out all of Section 26 of said Chapter, and inserting in lieu thereof the following:
Section 26. The lien of any taxes upon property may be extended against the owner thereof in the manner following, namely: Any Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer shall, prior to the expiration of the lien of said taxes, file with the Prothonotary of Sussex County a certificate containing the name of the taxable, the amount of the assessment, distinguishing the real and personal property and capitation tax, the year for which the said taxes may be levied, the rate of taxes, the total tax levied, the date from which the penalty for nonpayment of tax shall begin, and the rate of such penalty per month. The Prothonotary shall thereupon file said certificate and enter an abstract thereof upon a record to be by him kept in his office, and to be known as "Tax Lien Record." The lien of said tax shall thereupon be extended and remain a lien, with the same preference and priority, against all the real property of said taxable within Sussex County, inclusive of all real property alienated by said taxable subsequent to the Levy of said tax, and shall extend back to the date of the Levy of said tax, and shall continue in force for a period of five years from the date of said levy, subject to the same conditions and limitations as of a judgment recovered in the Superior Court of the State of Delaware, and a writ of levari facias may issue thereon for the sale of the taxable's real estate at the direction of any Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer, or at the direction of the Levy Court, as on any such judgment, and shall be in the name of the State of Delaware against said taxable.
Approved February 26, A. D. 1919.