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Some Quick Facts about Property Reassessments

About the State Property Reassessment

No one likes financial uncertainty, especially if its connected to the significant investment youve made in your home. Thats why youre probably happy to see your house or condo increasing in value as more people move to communities within an easy drive of the beach but anxious knowing your property taxes could go up as a result of the reassessment process now underway.

The good news is that our state and local taxes are extraordinarily low, and are currently based on assessments from 1974, so if youve lived here for a while youve already saved a lot of money compared to what you would have been paying in New York, New Jersey, Washington, D.C. and other places.

Just because your assessment increases it does not necessarily mean your taxes will increase.

The county and the school districts are capped by law on how much additional revenue can be generated from a reassessment.

In the meantime, here are a few points to keep in mind:

If your tax bill increases, it wont be for a few years.

This statewide reassessment is a major undertaking. Building on aerial imaging completed last year, trained data collectors employed by Tyler Technologies will be visiting every property in Sussex County to measure property exteriors during 2022. Theyll also be reviewing property sales. Later this year, youll receive a mailer with the data the county has on file, and will be required to confirm or correct it and return it so it can be entered into a database.

If you have a commercial property, it will be valued by a cost approach and income approach described on slides 18 - 21 in the following presentation. Either way, if your tax bill increases you wont have to pay the increased amount until the middle of 2024.

June 30, 2023 is the next date to mark on your calendar.

On that day, assessors will complete their review of property sales over a 30-month time frame. Theyll use that data to create computerized models that will determine comparable values for the properties theyre studying.

This analysis is important to those who own and live in their homes, and those who have investment and rental properties. Thats because the assessors will review the replacement costs of improvements that have been made to properties, minus depreciation, as well as the value of the land. Theyll also estimate value based on the net operating income of a property (e.g. a home thats youre renting out). And theyll factor in the value of comparable properties.

It aint over till its over consider your recourse.

Once you receive your updated property value assessment which should be late in 2023 youll have the opportunity to arrange a review of the data with a representative of Tyler Technologies. This will be your opportunity to point out any discrepancies and work with the assessors to correct data for the record. These meetings will also provide more details, if you need them, on the property valuation process. So, simply put, if the data is incorrect, you may find your valuation adjusted.

To learn about this process in more detail, check out this Cape Gazette letter from Sussex County Administrator Todd Lawson.

Remember the stakes . . .

Whether or not your own tax bill increases its worth noting that accurate assessments drive appropriate revenues toward many services that make Delaware such a great place to live and work. That includes funding for public safety, our libraries, and community and economic development initiatives.

It also includes funding for our public schools. The tremendous population growth during the past 20 years has brought many more students into our public school system and required a lot of new school construction and upgrades.

Even if we dont have kids in our public schools, we all stand to benefit when students have the resources they need for high achievement and preparation for higher education and job training. All of which translates to a stronger workforce, greater success for our businesses and other enterprises, and a better quality of life for all of us.