LEVY COURTS - KENT COUNTY
AN ACT to re-organize the Levy Court of Kent County, to define its’ powers and duties with respect to the management and control of the affairs of said county, and to repeal certain sections of the Revised Code relating to said Levy Court.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware in. General Assembly met:
Section 1. That from and after the first Tuesday in January, A. D. 1921, the Levy Court of Kent County, as it is now organized and constituted, be and the same shall be abolished, and the office of Levy Court Commissioner, as the same is DM constituted, and the terms, duties, powers, and authorities appertaining thereto, are hereby declared to be abolished, ended and terminated, on and after the said first Tuesday in January A. D. 1921.
Section 2. Kent County shall be divided into three Levy Court Districts. The first Levy Court District shall comprise the following Representative Districts: First, Second, Third and Fifth. The second Levy Court District shall comprise the following Representative Districts: Fourth, Sixth and Ninth. The third Levy Court District shall comprise the following Representative Districts: Seventh, Eighth and Tenth.
Section 3. That from and after the first Tuesday in January, A. D. 1921, the Levy Court of Kent County shall be composed of three members, one of whom shall be chosen from each of the three Levy Court Districts aforesaid.
Section 4. That, at the general election to be held in the year A. D. 1920, and biennially thereafter, there shall be elected by the qualified voters of each of the Levy Court Districts aforesaid, one suitable person, who shall be a bona fide resident and freeholder of said Levy Court District, and qualified to vote at the general elections held in said County. The persons so elected shall be styled "Levy Court Commissioners of Kent County," and the term of office shall be for two years, commencing always on the first Tuesday in January next after the said election.
Section 5. Should any two or more persons voted for as Levy Court Commissioners, receive an equal and the highest number of votes cast at any election, the Superior Court of the State of Delaware, in and for Kent County, sitting as a Board of Canvass in said County, shall certify the fact to the Governor, who shall forthwith appoint one of said persons to be Levy Court Commissioner for said County, who shall hold the said office for the term of two years from the first Tuesday in January then next ensuing.
Section 6. In case of the death, resignation or other disability, or ineligibility of any of the members of the Levy Court, it shall be the duty of the Governor to appoint some suitable person, having the required qualifications, to fill the vacancies so created, for the residue of the unexpired term.
Section 7. The Levy Court of Kent County, composed of the Commissioners aforesaid, shall meet for organization biennially on the first Tuesday in January next after the general election, and after qualification of the members elected at said general election, by taking the constitutional oath of office, shall proceed to elect one of their number presiding officer. The Commissioners shall have power to make rules for their government not inconsistent with the constitution and laws of the State. They shall meet at the Court House in Dover, on Tuesday of each week, throughout the year, except in ease that any Tuesday be a legal holiday.
The Levy Court may adjourn from time to time, as occasion shall require; one Commissioner, if no more attend on any day of meeting, may adjourn the Levy Court, or, if none attend, the Clerk of the Peace shall have power to adjourn said Court. Special meetings may be held at the direction of the presiding officer, or of any two members, and the Clerk of the Peace shall cause the members to be notified thereof. Special meetings shall be held at the usual place of meeting, and at such meetings any lawful business may be transacted.
The Clerk of the Peace shall be the Clerk of the Levy Court, and shall have the custody of all books, records and papers.
The oath or affirmation of office to be. taken by the said Commissioners, may be administered by the Clerk of the Peace, or by any qualified member of the Levy Court, and an entry thereof shall be made in the minutes of the Levy Court.
Section 8. The Levy Court Commissioners elected under the provisions of this Act, shall be paid an annual salary of Eighteen Hundred Dollars ($1800) in equal monthly installments, by warrants according to the form to be prescribed by the Levy Court, and the said Commissioners shall not be entitled to have or receive any other or further compensation for any services done or performed by them, or any of them, in the said office of Levy Court Commissioner.
Section 9. It shall be the duty of the present Levy Court of Kent County, and each Commissioner thereof, and every person having control or possession of any record, book, paper or other property belonging to the Levy Court of Kent County, on the first Tuesday in January, A. D. 1921, to surrender the same to the Clerk of the Peace of said County, who shall keep the same subject to the control of the Levy Court Commissioners elected under the provisions of this Act, and in case any person shall neglect or refuse to surrender and deliver up such records, books, papers, or other property to the Clerk of the Peace as aforesaid, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction, shall forfeit and pay a fine of Five Hundred Dollars.
Section 10. Two of said Commissioners shall constitute a quorum for the election of all officers required by law to be elected or appointed by the Levy Court of Kent County, and for the transaction of all other business; and it shall be the duty of the Comptroller to countersign warrants of the Levy Court, after having verified the calculation entering into the sum payable thereon. The Comptroller may, however, return a warrant without countersigning same, stating his objections thereto in writing and thereupon the Levy Court shall act again and may direct his countersignature.
Section 11. That Sections 1036. Sec. 24, 1037, Sec. 25, 1038, Sec. 26, 1039, Sec. 27, 1040, Sec. 28, 1042, Sec. 30, of Chapter 43 of the Revised Code, be and the same are hereby repealed.
Section 12. Whenever it shall be necessary for Kent County to take or hold title to any real estate, the same shall be taken and held in the name of the State of Delaware, for the use of Kent County.
Section 13. That 1057, See. 45, of Chapter 43 of the Revised Code, be and the same is hereby repealed, in so far as it relates to Kent County.
Section 14. The Levy Court of Kent County, annually, at some meeting held during the month of June, shall fix and determine the amount of the capitation tax which the assessors, or Board of Assessment, shall assess for the current year. Such tax shall not exceed the sum of One Dollar and Twenty-five Cents, nor shall it be less than One Dollar. The tax shall be uniform throughout the County, and shall be levied upon every male citizen of the age of twenty-one years, or upwards, residing in the County of Kent.
Section 15. The Levy Court of Kent County shall have no jurisdiction over, or supervision over the assessment lists, nor shall the said Levy Court have power to change, alter or amend the same. The said Levy Court shall make no allowance to any person or corporation for, or on account of, any error in the assessment lists, or excessive assessment by the said assessment lists, as they shall be certified by the assessors or Board of Assessment, shall be deemed to be correct by the Levy Court and shall be considered as final and conclusive.
Section 16. The Levy Court of Kent County is empowered to employ a janitor or janitors for the proper care of the Court House, and to fix his or their compensation.
Section 17. The Levy Court of Kent County shall, except as otherwise specified, have the direction, management and control of the business and finances of Kent County, and shall have full and complete jurisdiction over all and every of the matters and things vested by law in the Levy Court of Kent County, and shall exercise every power, privilege, right and duty which belongs to the Levy Court of Kent County, except as otherwise specified herein.
It shall be the duty of said Court to take care that the affairs of the County he administered with efficiency and economy, and that the officers and employees of the County, chosen and appointed by the Levy Court, shall faithfully perform the duties imposed upon them; and to this end, and for the proper oversight and management of the public business, the Levy Court is hereby empowered to summon and compel the attendance of witnesses, and each member thereof is authorized and empowered to administer oaths and affirmations.
It shall be the duty of the Levy Court to employ the assistance of experts to institute a proper and modern system of bookkeeping, and accounts, so that the financial affairs of Kent County may be easily ascertained from time to time.
The said Levy Court shall have the power to remove from office any person appointed by it for sufficient cause shown, and after due hearing; provided, that any person so removed shall have the right to appeal from judgment or decision of said Levy Court to the Superior Court, which Court shall, upon such appeal, either affirm or overrule the judgment or decision of the Levy Court. If such judgment or decision be overruled, the person appealing shall be remitted to his said office or employment, and shall be entitled to all arrears of compensation.
Section 18. The bonded indebtedness of Kent County is hereby limited to an amount equal to five percentum of the total assessed valuation of the taxable property of said county.
Section 19. It shall be unlawful for any Levy Court Commissioner, directly or indirectly, to buy, purchase or redeem, any county warrant drawn in favor of any other person.
Section 20. The Levy Court of Kent County shall not appoint Jail Commissioners, but shall have power to investigate the manner in which the jail of Kent County is maintained by the Sheriff or keeper of said jail, and to regulate and control the same.
Section 21. The levy Court of Kent County shall, during the month of February in each year, value and assess the property of the assessors, or of the members of the Board of Assessment.
Section 22. The Levy Court of Kent County, prior to the thirtieth day of April in each year, shall, upon due inquiry, and investigation, estimate the amount of money which will be required for the current year, dividing and apportioning such estimate for and among the following County needs and purposes:
1. For general County purposes, to be known as the "General Fund."
2. For the general repair and maintenance of roads and bridges, to be known as the "General Road Fund."
3. For the special or permanent improvement of roads, to be known as the "Special Road Improvement Fund."
4. For the payment of interest on bonded indebtedness and for the redemption of matured bonds, to be known as the "Bonded Indebtedness Fund."
5. For the purpose of the poor, to be known as the ''Poor Fund."
6. For the payment of warrants not of the current year, to be known as the "Outstanding. Warrant Fund."
7. For the expenses or Courts or Justice, to be known as the "Witness and Jury Fund."
During the month of June in each year, the said Levy Court shall lay such a rate upon the assessment lists of said County, according to certain rate upon every one hundred dollars, as will by estimation produce the aggregate of the several sums so as aforesaid found to be necessary to be raised, and shall apportion to each of the above divisions or funds a certain percent um or the total amount to be raised so that a fund will be produced equal to the amount estimated to be required for each of the needs and purposes above specified.
Section 23. The Levy Court shall, on or before the last day of June of each year, attach to the duplicates of assessment as the same shall be transcribed and certified by the assessors or Board of Assessment,
a warrant under the hands of at least two of the Commissioners according to this form:
STATE OF DELAWARE,
To Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer of Kent County, greeting:
We command you that you collect from the several persons named in the annexed duplicates for their taxes for the year _____, the following rate per centum on the amount of their respective assessment, and if any person named in said duplicate shall not pay the said rates after you have demanded the same, we command you in such case that you collect said taxes, or the part thereof remaining unpaid, with lawful costs, in the manner prescribed by law. And we further command you that you pay the amount which, according to this warrant and the annexed duplicates, you are required to collect, in the manner and within the times appointed by law in this behalf. Hereof fail not at your peril.
Given at the Court House at Dover by the order of the Levy Court, under the hands of us, Commissioners of said Court, the ______ day of April, A. D. _______
(Seal of the Office of the Clerk of the Peace).
Each warrant shall be sealed with the seal of the Clerk of the Peace and shall be attested by him.
The said tax duplicates with the warrant thereto annexed, shall be delivered to the Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer by the Levy Court on or before the first day of July, and the said warrant shall bear date as of the last day of June, which shall be the date of the levying of all taxes.
Section 24. During the month of June next following the date of the warrant, the Levy Court shall make full, final and complete settlement with the Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer, allowing to said Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer all taxes which shall have been found impossible to collect by reason of errors in the assessment lists or otherwise, and not through the default, neglect or delay of the Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer, which said settlement shall be final and conclusive, and no other allowance in any form or guise shall be made to said Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer by the Levy Court.
At least two weeks before the final settlement had with the Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer, the said Levy Court shall cause the Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer to publish in two newspapers of the County, one of which shall be published in the town of Dover. a list of the taxables of each Representative District, whose taxes it has been impossible to collect, stating therein, with respect to each taxable, briefly the reason why it has been impossible to collect said tax; and the Levy Court shall likewise cause the Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer to post in two public places of each Representative District of Kent County a list of the taxables of said District, whose taxes it has been impossible to collect, stating, therein in each case the reason why it has been impossible to collect said tax.
Before making final settlement with the Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer, the Levy Court shall require the Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer to make oath or affirmation that the list of uncollected taxes made out and returned by him is true in all its statements to the best of his knowledge and belief, and that no tax has been collected from any person so returned by him. The oath may be administered by the Clerk of said Court, or by any member thereof, and any Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer, who shall swear falsely as to any matter to which he may be required to make oath by this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall be punished as the law directs for false swearing.
Section 25. The public highways, bridges and causeways of Kent County shall be under the management and control of the Levy Court of Kent County, as is now provided by law.
Section 26. The Levy Court may prescribe the form in which accounts to be rendered them shall be drawn and verified, and shall have power to determine upon the form of all warrants to be drawn in payment of demands.
Section 27. Where, by existing law, any duty, power or authority, is vested in a Levy Court Commissioner of Kent County, in respect to the imposition of a special road tax, the construction, care and maintenance of roads, or the expenditure of money therefor, or in any other manner, or for any purpose, such duty, power or authority, shall be imposed upon and exercisable by the Levy Court of Kent County as it is constituted under this Act.
Section 28. This Act shall not go into effect and operation except as it provides for the election of Levy Court Commissioners for Kent County at the general election to be held in the year A. D. 1920, until the first Tuesday in January, A. D. 1921.
Section 29. All Acts or parts of Acts, or sections of the Revised Statutes of the State of Delaware, which are *inconsistence [*So enrolled] herewith, or which are supplied hereby, are hereby repealed.
Approved May 28, A. D. 1920.