TITLE 9

Counties

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.;

(a) The term “local service function,” as used in this chapter, shall mean a local governmental service, or a group of closely allied governmental services, performed by New Castle County, or by a municipality within New Castle County, for its inhabitants and for which, under constitutional and statutory provisions and judicial interpretations, the County, or any municipality as distinguished from the State, has a primary responsibility for provision and financing. Without in any way limiting the foregoing, the following are examples of local service functions:

(1) Planning and zoning including subdivision regulations;

(2) Adoption and enforcement of ordinances and regulations for the protection of persons and property from hazards in the use, occupancy, condition, alteration, maintenance, repair, sanitation, removal and demolition of buildings and structures or any parts thereof and grounds appurtenant thereto, in the operation of equipment therein, and of outdoor signs including, but not limited to, zoning ordinances and regulations thereunder, building codes and regulations thereunder, plumbing codes and regulations thereunder or other such codes;

(3) Programs for redevelopment, low rent housing and urban renewal;

(4) Parks and park related activities and recreational programs;

(5) Police protection;

(6) Fire protection;

(7) Public works including, but not limited to, maintenance and operation of sanitary and storm sewers, drainage systems, sewage disposal facilities, refuse disposal facilities, including trash and garbage collection disposal;

(8) Lighting of streets, roads, alleys, and other public places;

(9) Maintenance and operation of water supply system;

(10) Library services.

(b) The term “municipality,” as used in this chapter, shall mean any municipal corporation located within New Castle County, and incorporated pursuant to law by the General Assembly of this State, which performs for its residents any local service function and pays the cost thereof out of its own revenue sources.

(c) Except as provided under subsection (e) of this section, responsibility for a local service function or a distinct activity or portion thereof exercised by a municipality located within New Castle County, may be transferred to the County by the concurring affirmative action in the form of an ordinance of the County Council of New Castle County and of the governing body of the municipality concerned. Responsibility for a local service function or a distinct activity or portion thereof not exercised by New Castle County, or by a municipality located within New Castle County, as of January 3, 1967, or exercised by New Castle County as of January 3, 1967, may be transferred to a municipality located within New Castle County by the concurring affirmative action in the form of an ordinance of the County Council of New Castle County and of the governing body of the municipality concerned.

(d) The expression of official action transferring a local service function shall make explicit:

(1) The nature of the local service function transferred;

(2) The effective date of such transfer;

(3) The manner in which affected employees engaged in the performance of the function will be transferred, reassigned or otherwise treated;

(4) The manner in which real property, facilities, equipment or other personal property required in the exercise of the function are to be transferred, sold or otherwise treated;

(5) The method of financing to be used in the exercise of the function received;

(6) Other legal, financial, and administrative arrangements necessary to effect transfer in an orderly and equitable manner.

(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, for fire protection that is partially financially supported but not directly provided by New Castle County and that is also partially financially supported but not directly provided by a municipality, New Castle County shall convert the net New Castle County fire protection cost into a real property tax rate for each municipality and the unincorporated area under its jurisdiction that does not directly provide fire protection by calculating all of the following for each municipality and the unincorporated area:

(1) The “service area share” , which equals the taxable assessed value of real property within the municipality or the unincorporated area not directly providing fire protection divided by the sum of the taxable assessed value for all real property in the unincorporated area and all municipalities not directly providing fire protection.

(2) The “apportioned gross amount” , which equals the service area share multiplied by the net New Castle County fire protection cost for fire protection.

(3) The “net New Castle County fire protection cost” , which is New Castle County’s contribution of funds or in-kind services to volunteer fire companies within New Castle County, increased by indirect costs applicable to fire protection and decreased by service charges, grants, or other revenue that New Castle County directly attributes or otherwise apportions to fire protection.

(4) The “credit percentage” , which equals the municipality’s actual direct contribution of funds or in-kind contributions of goods or services to a volunteer fire company in the previous year, divided by the municipality’s apportioned gross amount. The “credit percentage” may not exceed 100%. The “credit percentage” is 0% for the unincorporated area.

(5) The “New Castle County fire protection percentage” , which equals 100% minus the municipality’s or the unincorporated area’s credit percentage. The “New Castle County fire protection percentage” for the unincorporated area is 100%.

(6) The “weighted service share” , which equals the municipality’s or the unincorporated area’s service area share multiplied by the municipality’s or the unincorporated area’s New Castle County fire protection percentage.

(7) The “total weighted service amount” , which equals the sum of the weighted service shares.

(8) The “final service weight”, which equals the municipality’s or the unincorporated area’s weighted service share divided by the total weighted service amount.

(9) The “apportioned net fire protection cost” , which equals the final service weight multiplied by the net New Castle County fire protection cost for fire protection.

(10) The “individual fire protection tax rate” , which equals the municipality’s or the unincorporated area’s apportioned net fire protection cost divided by the taxable assessed value of real property in the respective municipality or the unincorporated area. This calculation may be adjusted to raise sufficient revenues after accounting for the historical county-wide level of nonpayment of county real property tax.

9 Del. C. 1953, § 1102; 55 Del. Laws, c. 85, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 401, § 15; 82 Del. Laws, c. 233, § 1.;

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.;