New Castle County
CHAPTER 11. County Executive and County Council
Subchapter I. Powers of the Government of New Castle County
(a) Granted. — The Government of New Castle County as established by this chapter shall assume and have all powers which, under the Constitution of this State, it would be competent for the General Assembly to grant by specific enumeration, and which are not denied by statute, including, but not limited to, any powers conferred prior to May 26, 1965, by the General Assembly upon New Castle County, or upon the Levy Court of New Castle County, or upon the Levy Court Commissioners of New Castle County, or upon the officers or employees of New Castle County, or upon counties generally, or upon Levy Court Commissioners generally. This grant of power includes the power to fix the tax rate upon the assessed valuation of all real property in New Castle County subject to assessment by the County. This grant of power further includes the power to fix the fees of the Recorder of Deeds in New Castle County for services, any statute denying such right to the contrary notwithstanding. This grant of power further includes the power to impose a surcharge on any application for a building permit issued by New Castle County in an amount not to exceed .5% of the residential construction value and of the first million dollars of commercial construction value applicable to said building permit application, to provide funding for volunteer fire companies except that this surcharge shall not be added to building permits applied for by an organization exempt from tax under § 501(c)(3) of the federal Internal Revenue Code [26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(3)] which provides owner-occupied housing to low and moderate income households by rehabilitating residential properties and reselling said properties without profit, nor to the Delaware State Housing Authority nor to any applicant funded by the Delaware State Housing Authority. This grant of power does not include the power to enact private or civil law concerning civil relationships, except as incident to the exercise of an expressly granted power, and does not include the power to define and provide for the punishment of felonies. This grant of power shall also include the power to impose and collect by ordinance a tax upon the transfer of real property situate within the unincorporated areas of the County, subject to the conditions and limitations provided in § 8102 of this title.
(b) Construction. — The powers of New Castle County shall be construed liberally in favor of the County, and specific mention of particular powers in this title shall not be construed as limiting in any way the general powers stated herein.9 Del. C. 1953, § 1101; 55 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 1; 57 Del. Laws, c. 768, § 1; 67 Del. Laws, c. 415, § 2; 71 Del. Laws, c. 400, § 1; 77 Del. Laws, c. 268, § 1;
For purposes of this chapter:
(1) “Chief Financial Officer” means the Chief Financial Officer of New Castle County or a designee.
(2) “Fire protection” means the prevention and extinguishment of fires; maintenance of apparatus and equipment, including ambulances, rescue trucks, aerial, or platform trucks and rescue boats; provision of basic life support; and operation of stations.
(3) a. “Local service function” or “LSF” means a local governmental service, or a group of closely allied governmental services, that is all of the following:
1. A service for which, New Castle County or any municipality, as distinguished from the State, has a primary responsibility for provision and financing, under the Delaware Constitution, Delaware Code, or judicial decision.
2. Performed or financially supported by New Castle County and by at least 1 municipality, in whole or in part, instead of New Castle County.
3. Funded by New Castle County, in whole or in part, through property tax revenue.
b. “Local service function” or “LSF” may include any of the following:
1. Planning and zoning, including subdivision regulations.
2. Adoption and enforcement of ordinances for the protection of persons and property from hazards in the use, occupancy, condition, alteration, maintenance, repair, sanitation, removal, and demolition of buildings, structures, and appurtenant grounds; the operation of equipment; and outdoor signs, including codes and regulations for any of the following:
D. Property maintenance.
3. Programs for redevelopment, affordable housing, and urban renewal.
4. Parks and park related activities and recreational programs.
5. Police protection.
6. Fire protection.
7. 9-1-1 communications.
8. Animal control.
9. Public works, including maintenance and operation of sanitary and storm sewers, drainage systems, sewage disposal facilities, and refuse disposal facilities, including trash and garbage collection disposal.
10. Lighting of streets, roads, alleys, and other public places.
11. Maintenance and operation of the water supply system.
12. Library system.
(4) “Municipality” means a municipal corporation located within New Castle County and incorporated by an act of the General Assembly.
(5) “New Castle County service percentage” means the degree to which New Castle County provides a local service function within a municipality, determined by subtracting the degree to which a municipality provides the local service function from 100%. The New Castle County service percentage in the unincorporated area equals 100%.83 Del. Laws, c. 7, § 1; 83 Del. Laws, c. 7, § 10; 83 Del. Laws, c. 283, § 7;
(a) New Castle County may divide a local service function into subcategories on forms used under § 1128 of this title. A subcategory of a local service function constitutes a local service function.
(b) The responsibility for all or part of a local service function in a municipality is established as set forth under the approved budget enacted for fiscal year 2023 under § 1155 of this title, or by the later of any of the following:
(1) A municipality provides timely notice of a change in degree of performance of a local service function to New Castle County under § 1127(d)(2) of this title.
(2) New Castle County and a municipality enact ordinances transferring responsibility for performance of a local service function under subsection (c) of this section.
(3) A service performed by a municipality is classified as a local service function under subsection (d) of this section.
(4) A new local service function is established under § 1128 of this title.
(c) (1) Responsibility for the performance or funding of a local service function may be transferred between New Castle County and a municipality by concurring affirmative action in the form of an ordinance enacted by the County Council of New Castle County and of the governing body of the municipality.
(2) The ordinances transferring a local service function under paragraph (c)(1) of this section must state all of the following:
a. The nature of the local service function transferred.
b. The effective date of the transfer.
c. The manner in which affected employees engaged in the performance of the local service function will be transferred, reassigned, or otherwise treated.
d. The manner in which real property, facilities, equipment, or other personal property required in the exercise of the local service function will be transferred, sold, or otherwise treated.
e. The method of financing to be used in the exercise of the local service function received.
f. Other legal, financial, and administrative arrangements necessary to effect transfer of the local service function in an orderly and equitable manner.
(d) (1) If a municipality is performing a service that is included in the New Castle County general operating budget, the municipality may request that the service be classified as a local service function in the next fiscal year by providing a notice to New Castle County by August 1 that states all of the following:
a. The service that is included in the New Castle County general operating budget.
b. The degree of performance.
c. The date municipality began performing the service.
(2) New Castle County may request, and the municipality must provide, additional information that may reasonably be needed to determine the degree of performance of the service by the municipality.
(3) By November 1, New Castle County shall notify the municipality of New Castle County’s determination regarding the municipality’s request under paragraph (d)(1) of this section.
(4) If a municipality is unable to reach agreement with New Castle County regarding the municipality’s request under paragraph (d)(1) of this section, the municipality may demand arbitration under the procedure in § 1128(d) of this title.
(e) [Repealed.]9 Del. C. 1953, § 1102; 55 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 401, § 15; 82 Del. Laws, c. 233, § 1; 83 Del. Laws, c. 7, § 10;
All powers of the government of New Castle County shall be carried into execution as provided by this title or by other law of this State or if this title or other law of this State makes no such provision, as provided by ordinance or resolution of the County Council of New Castle County.9 Del. C. 1953, § 1103; 55 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 401, § 15;