TITLE 9

Counties

County Taxes

CHAPTER 87. COLLECTION OF DELINQUENT TAXES

Subchapter I. General Provisions


(a) If any person is assessed for several parcels of land and tenements, in the same tax assessment, the total of said person's taxes, if not paid when due, may be collected out of the personal property, or out of the whole or any part or portion of the lands and tenements.

(b) Land alienated by the taxable shall not be sold until other property of the taxable shall have been disposed of.

(c) If the tax be paid on land alienated, the lien of the tax thereon shall be discharged.

28 Del. Laws, c. 82, § 27; 33 Del. Laws, c. 84, § 22; Code 1935, §§ 1419, 1452; 42 Del. Laws, c. 109, § 1; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 8701.;

Any proceedings authorized herein may be brought against the guardian or trustee of the owner of any property and any judgment recovered against the guardian or trustee shall be binding upon the real and personal estate belonging to the person he or she represents. Any person who owns or has any interest in any real estate upon which county taxes have been levied and is under the disability of infancy or incompetency of mind and does not have a guardian or trustee may be made a party defendant in any proceeding, and a guardian ad litem or trustee ad litem upon the bringing of the proceedings shall be appointed by the Superior Court or the Court of Common Pleas or by the justice of the peace upon the petition of the plaintiff in the proceeding.

33 Del. Laws, c. 82, § 19; Code 1915, § 1169; Code 1935, § 1362; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 8702; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

The remedies herein provided are cumulative and, if 2 or more proceedings are pending to recover the amount due for taxes upon the same property for any year, neither proceeding shall be pleaded in bar or in suspension of other proceedings. However, when the full amount due for taxes upon the property for the year shall have been fully paid to the plaintiff in any proceeding, together with all costs in all proceedings then pending, the plaintiff shall enter upon the records thereof discontinuances thereof.

40 Del. Laws, c. 135, § 1; Code 1915, § 1170; Code 1935, § 1363; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 8703.;

Liens or encumbrances against lands and tenements sold for taxes by the Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer of Kent County or Department of Finance of Sussex County under the provisions of this chapter which were valid and subsisting liens or encumbrances at the time of the sale for taxes (other than the lien for the taxes for the collection of which such sale is made), shall not be discharged or anywise affected by such sale, and such sale shall be subject to such liens or encumbrances.

33 Del. Laws, c. 84, § 15A; 38 Del. Laws, c. 78, § 1; Code 1935, § 1412; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 8704; 50 Del. Laws, c. 524, § 1; 57 Del. Laws, c. 762, § 24A.;

(a) All taxes assessed against real estate by New Castle County shall continue a lien against such real estate for 10 years from July 1 of the year for which the taxes were levied, but if the real estate remains the property of the person who was the owner at the time that it was assessed, then the lien shall continue until the tax is collected.

(b) All taxes assessed against real estate by Sussex County shall continue a lien against such real estate for 10 years from May 1 of the year for which the taxes were levied, but if the real estate remains the property of the person who was the owner at the time that it was assessed, then the lien shall continue until the tax is collected. The lien of taxes shall have priority over all other liens.

(c) The priority of such liens in any of the 3 counties shall be as given in Title 25.

(d) All taxes assessed against real estate by Kent County shall continue a lien against such real estate for 10 years from July 1 of the year for which the taxes were levied, but if the real estate remains the property of the person who was the owner at the time that it was assessed, then the lien shall continue until the tax is collected. The lien of taxes shall have priority over all other liens.

15 Del. Laws, c. 476; 16 Del. Laws, c. 141; 19 Del. Laws, c. 556; 20 Del. Laws, c. 373, § 1; 20 Del. Laws, App. p. 8, § 11; Code 1915, §§ 1152, 2870; 40 Del. Laws, c. 135, § 1; Code 1935, §§ 1348, 3351; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 8705; 55 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 25B; 57 Del. Laws, c. 762, § 24B; 60 Del. Laws, c. 607, §§ 1, 2; 65 Del. Laws, c. 60, § 1.;

The lien of any taxes upon real estate in Kent or Sussex Counties may be extended in the manner following: The tax collecting authority shall, prior to the expiration of the lien of the taxes, file with the prothonotary of the county a certificate containing the name of the taxable, the amount of the assessment, distinguishing the real property and capitation tax, the year for which the 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 the certificate and enter an abstract thereof upon a record to be kept in the prothonotary's office and to be known as "Tax Lien Record.'' The lien of the tax shall thereupon be extended and remain a lien against all the real property of the taxable within the county, inclusive of all real property, alienated by the taxable subsequent to the levy of the tax, and shall extend back to the date of the levy of the tax, and shall continue in force for a period of 5 years from the date of the levy, subject to the same conditions and limitations as of a judgment recovered in the Superior Court, and a writ of levari facias may issue thereon for the sale of the taxable's real estate at the direction of such tax collecting authority as on any such judgment, and shall be in the name of the State against the taxable. The same provisions of law respecting the sale of lands under a writ of levari facias or execution process as in other cases shall apply to the sale of lands made under this section.

28 Del. Laws, c. 82, § 26; 30 Del. Laws, c. 82, § 7; 33 Del. Laws, c. 84, § 21; 38 Del. Laws, c. 78, § 1; Code 1935, §§ 1418, 1451; 42 Del. Laws, c. 109, § 1; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 8706; 57 Del. Laws, c. 762, § 24C; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 401, § 115.;

The remedy by distress, as prescribed by law, is preserved to the tax collecting authority of each county for the collection of any taxes that may be due and unpaid.

28 Del. Laws, c. 82, § 18; 33 Del. Laws, c. 84, § 13; Code 1935, §§ 1410, 1443; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 8707; 55 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 25C; 71 Del. Laws, c. 401, § 114.;

(a) The Office of Finance in New Castle County, if it fails to proceed or is prevented from proceeding by reason of the death, insolvency or bankruptcy of the person or corporation liable for the payment of any taxes, or for any other cause, may, in any case, recover the amount of such taxes as it is by law authorized to collect in a civil action in any court of competent jurisdiction, against the person to whom property is assessed or in case the property is owned by any person to whom it is not assessed, then against the owner or owners of the property. If service, as in other civil actions or actions of debt, be had upon any 1 of several owners of real estate upon which taxes are levied, service need not be had upon the other owner or owners of the real estate, if a copy of the writ is left with the tenant in possession or posted upon the premises 6 days before the return of the process. In such an action, it shall be sufficient to set forth that the action is to recover a specified sum of money being a tax assessed against property owned by the defendant in whole or in part, together with such description of the property, as will be sufficient to identify the same and the year for which the taxes were levied.

(b) A right of appeal shall be the same as in other civil actions.

(c) In case any defendant is a nonresident or a corporation not organized under the laws of this State, proceedings may be had in the Superior Court for the county by attachment. The writ of attachment shall be framed, directed, executed and returned and like proceedings had as in other cases of foreign attachment in this State, except that the Office of Finance shall only be required to make and file with the Prothonotary an affidavit stating that the defendant resides out of the State or is a corporation not existing under the laws of the State (as the case may be), and that the defendant or it is justly indebted for taxes in the sum of....... dollars.

Code 1915, § 1167; 40 Del. Laws, c. 135, § 1; Code 1935, § 1360; 42 Del. Laws, c. 109, § 1; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 8708; 55 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 25D; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 401, §§ 116, 117.;

If judgment be rendered in favor of the Office of Finance in an action under § 8708 of this title, an execution shall issue against the real or personal estate of the defendant. No execution against the real estate shall issue except out of the Superior Court. Where such judgment is recovered before the Court of Common Pleas or before a justice of the peace and it is the desire of the Office of Finance to proceed against the real estate, the Office of Finance shall take a transcript of the judgment from the Court of Common Pleas or justice of the peace and cause the same to be entered in the Superior Court in and for New Castle County. When such transcripts are entered, the subsequent proceedings shall be the same as upon other judgments. The lien of the judgment shall relate back and take effect from July 1 of the year for which the taxes upon which the judgment was recovered were levied.

Code 1915, § 1168; 40 Del. Laws, c. 135, § 1; Code 1935, § 1361; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 8709; 55 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 25D; 71 Del. Laws, c. 401, §§ 116-118.;

(a) At any time after the delivery of the duplicates and warrants and without notice to the taxable, the tax collecting authority may institute suit before any justice of the peace of this State in any of the counties in the 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..................... County.'' In Sussex County, the action should be brought in the name "....................., Director of Finance for Sussex County.''

(b) In Sussex County execution shall be and constitute a lien upon all the personal property of the taxable within the County of Sussex which, by virtue of the execution, shall be levied upon within 30 days after the issuance thereof, and such lien shall have preference and priority to all other liens on the personal property created or suffered by the taxable, although such other lien or liens be of a date prior to the time of the attachment of such lien for taxes.

28 Del. Laws, c. 82, § 18; 30 Del. Laws, c. 82, § 4; 33 Del. Laws, c. 84, § 13; Code 1935, §§ 1410, 1443; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 8710; 57 Del. Laws, c. 762, §§ 24D, 24E; 71 Del. Laws, c. 401, § 115.;

(a) Any tax collecting authority may at any time notify in writing the person or corporation by whom any taxable is employed that the tax of the employee is due, delinquent and unpaid, and thereupon the employer shall deduct from the wages, or from any sum due such employee, the amount of the tax due from such employee, and charge the same against the employee. If such employer refuses or neglects to comply with the provisions of this section within 3 months from the time of receiving such notice, the employer shall be personally liable for the tax of such person as to whom notice has been given. The amount of the tax may be recovered from such employer by the tax collecting authority in an action of debt before any justice of the peace.

(b) When the amount of such tax is held by any employer under the provisions of this section, the employer shall pay the same to the tax collecting authority within 30 days thereafter. A copy of this section shall accompany all written notices to employers.

20 Del. Laws, App. p. 12, § 33; Code 1915, § 1173; 28 Del. Laws, c. 82, § 18; 33 Del. Laws, c. 84, § 13; 40 Del. Laws, c. 135, § 1; Code 1935, §§ 1366, 1410; 9 Del. C. 1953, § 8711; 55 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 25A; 57 Del. Laws, c. 762, § 24F; 68 Del. Laws, c. 368, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 401, §§ 115, 119.;