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Kent County property tax reassessment reaches halfway point

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Delaware Public Media
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Kent County is midway through the process of reassessing property values for the first time in decades.

The reassessment was prompted by a public education funding lawsuit where Chancery Court ruled the property tax system in all three Delaware counties unconstitutional.

The reassessment process began last year, and Kent County residents were asked to turn in surveys about income and expenses from their commercial properties by the end of September.

Reassessment project lead Ryan Zuck says residents who don’t run the risk of their property being overvalued, which could raise their property tax rate; residents will be allowed to turn surveys in late until December.

So far, only a fifth of residents have returned the surveys, but Zuck does not expect to receive more than 40 percent of the surveys by the end of the year.

He adds reassessment will provide a snapshot of where commercial and residential properties sit vacant in Kent County. That could be useful for redevelopment, but he notes the list could quickly become outdated.

“We will gather a list as of the time we go out to the property," he said. "As of the time that we inspect it, it may be unoccupied, and then somebody might occupy the space a month down the road.”

Zuck expects to send notices about assessed values to property owners by late October or early November of next year.

Corrected: October 4, 2022 at 9:53 AM EDT
This story was corrected to reflect that income and expense forms are only sent to commercial properties.
Paul Kiefer comes to Delaware from Seattle, where he covered policing, prisons and public safety for the local news site PubliCola.