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Delaware House Bill 62 Aims to Overhaul Property Reassessment Process

Tax Development Aug 24, 2023

Delaware House Bill 62 Aims to Overhaul Property Reassessment Process

In a significant legislative move, Delaware House Bill 62, signed and effective August 9, 2023, will revolutionize property reassessment practices within the state. This bill mandates a restructuring of the property valuation processes and introduces vital changes to enhance transparency and fairness in property taxation.

Central to the bill is the requirement for each county in Delaware to conduct a reassessment of real property values at least once every five years. This cycle is set to commence after the completion of the ongoing reassessment efforts conducted by each county.

Delaware House Bill 62 introduces essential revisions designed to combine the existing law with the parameters defined in the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual. These revisions play a crucial role in ensuring consistency with prevailing legal norms. One of the significant changes in the Act is the repeal of the penalty stipulated in § 8306 of Title 9. This penalty pertains to boards of assessment assessing property at an incorrect value. Given that boards of assessment are no longer tasked with property assessment under current law, this penalty’s relevance has waned. Furthermore, the Act fine-tunes references within § 8307 of Title 9, substituting references to the board of assessment with those to a county Department of Finance.

House Bill 62 marks a pivotal transformation by replacing the requirement to assess real property at its “true value in money” with the mandate to assess it at its “present fair market value.” This shift aligns with the interpretation established by Delaware courts, where “true value in money” is synonymous with “present fair market value.” The bill’s context underscores the historical base year values prevalent in Kent, New Castle, and Sussex counties during the period from 1978 to 1983. During these years, a lack of ratios and the challenging nature of appeals prevailed. Presently, all three counties are undergoing extensive revaluations, spurred by a State Supreme Court order prompted by a lawsuit filed by the City of Wilmington School District. This legal action focused on matters of uniformity and underassessment.

As the revaluation journey continues and the implications of Delaware House Bill 62 unfold, Ryan’s expertise serves as a valuable piece for property owners seeking to navigate the evolving property tax landscape. While the specifics of the future valuation system are yet to be unveiled, Ryan stands as a proactive player, well-prepared to navigate the evolving property tax changes. Contact Ryan’s property tax expert listed below with any questions.


Kurt Lieberman

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