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What property reassessment in Delaware may mean for you

Sophia Schmidt
Delaware Public Media

Property reassessment in all three counties in Delaware is underway for the first time in decades.

All three counties are reassessing after a judge ruled their property tax systems unconstitutional. The counties have not reassessed all property since the 1970s and ‘80s—which advocates argued hurt schools and students.

Tyler Technologies, the company contracted to perform the reassessments, has already done aerial imaging and begun on-the-ground property inspections.

Michael McFarlane of Tyler Technologies says people can expect inspectors wearing yellow construction vests that say “Tyler” on them to knock on doors, ask questions about the interior, and measure the outside of the building.

“If it’s the case that the homeowner is not available to speak with us, that’s OK — they still have time to correct any assumed observations about the interior of the home,” he said.

The company will consider factors such as location, age, condition and improvements to a building when making their appraisal.

Late next year, New Castle County property owners will receive a tentative appraisal, which they can contest if they think it’s not an accurate market value.

“The ultimate question for residential homeowners is, can I sell my home for this much today? If the answer is no, you don’t believe you could sell your home for this much money, then we’d like to hear from you,” McFarlane said.

Some property owners can expect their taxes to increase through the process, while others will see them stay the same or go down. It all depends on how a property’s increase in value compares to that of others.

New Castle County has agreed to keep the reassessment revenue-neutral, by rolling back the tax rate.