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New Castle County prepares to pay for property reassessment

Delaware Public Media

New Castle County faces the state’s biggest property reassessment task after settling a lawsuit over educational equity. It is already starting the process.

New Castle County’srequest for proposals for a company to perform the reassessment has been posted for more than a month—and closes next week. 

The county agreed to reassess all real property for use in tax bills by July 2023. It’ll be forty years since the last time the county did so.  

Under state code, counties can collect up to 15 percent more revenue after a reassessment. But New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer has committed to rolling back the tax rate so the process is revenue-neutral. 

“If we need to separately raise revenue, we’re going to propose a tax increase like we do normally,” Meyer said. 

“The purpose is not to raise revenue,” he added. “The purpose is to create fairness among taxpayers, and to bring our tax system, which for years has not been in compliance with the law, to put it in compliance with the law.”

County Council passed a resolution last week endorsing this approach—and saying it plans to legislate recurring reassessments every 5 years. 

Council is expected to vote Tuesday to move more than $26 million from tax stabilization reserves to a reassessment reserve account. 

Meyer says the amount should cover the cost of the upcoming reassessment.

“Our initial indication is that will be more than enough money,” he said.

Sophia Schmidt is a Delaware native. She comes to Delaware Public Media from NPR’s Weekend Edition in Washington, DC, where she produced arts, politics, science and culture interviews. She previously wrote about education and environment for The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, MA. She graduated from Williams College, where she studied environmental policy and biology, and covered environmental events and local renewable energy for the college paper.
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