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Changes in Delaware School Property Tax Relief for 65+

This is important information that very few people seem to know about. On June 28, 2012, the Governor signed a bill (H.B. 209) which made changes in the States Senior Property Tax Program.

Three-year Residency Requirement for new Applicants

If you establish residency in Delaware after December 31, 2012, you will be required to have been legally domiciled with the State for a period of at least 3 consecutive years in order to be eligible to receive a credit.

That means you must have established Delaware as your Primary Residence, not as a second home or vacation home.

If you are approaching 65 or have already turned 65 and plan to make a move to Delaware, you may want to think seriously about doing it now! If you wrote a contract this month, you could do it. You could be in your new home by December!

Application Deadline moved to April 30

In addition, all applications for the School Tax Credit must be filed with and received by the receiver of taxes or county treasurer no later than April 30 immediately prior to the beginning of the tax year. Eligible applicants, however, may turn 65 at any point up to June 30 immediately prior to the beginning of the county fiscal year. For example, an individual who turned 65 on June 15 would be eligible for the credit so long as his or her application was received by April 30.


If you want to be eligible, you must pay your property tax bill in full by the end of each tax year in order to qualify for this credit for the subsequent property tax year.

You must provide a copy of a valid drivers license or birth certificate at the time of application and you must prove your residency.

When I called the Sussex County Treasurers office, I heard stories about people that had not yet moved here full time who had registered a vehicle in Delaware and attempted to file for the tax credit. That will not work. You can call the Sussex County Treasury Division at 302-855-7760 or read the details at the State Website.

I like to tell people that lower taxes is not enough of a reason to move to Delaware. However, if you are going to move here and youre on the fence about pulling the trigger now or waiting until Spring, maybe this incentive will help you make a decision.

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  1. L. FARINACCI on

    This article is very helpful. Tell me, please, what is required for proof of residency? I will be buying a home in Delaware and will own two homes for as long as it takes until my current home, in another state, sells.
    • Kathy Sperl-Bell on

      To determine exactly what you would have to do to establish residency in Delaware, I recommend that you contact an Accountant. To be a resident, your home in Delaware must be a primary residence and you must have a Delaware driver's license and a vehicle registered in the State of Delaware. Other than that, an Accountant would provide the best advice.