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House passes bill to require property tax reassessments every five years

Delaware Public Media

It took a lawsuit by public education advocates in 2020 for all three of Delaware’s counties to conduct property tax reassessments for the first time in decades.

Now state lawmakers are considering whether to require them at regular intervals.

State Rep. Madinah Wilson-Anton’s bill would require each county to reassess property values every five years, starting the clock when the current reassessments end.

“My colleagues know that the current reassessments are the result of a court settlement," she said during a discussion on the House floor on Thursday, "and the goal of this bill is that we never have a court order for this again.”

Counties would bear the costs, but the proposal has backing from policymakers in both the New Castle and Kent County governments.

A few Republicans took issue with the timing of the bill; state Rep. Richard Collins argues the state should review the results of the current reassessments before setting timelines.

“We will not see the results of this bill for probably seven years," he said. "So would it not make sense and be the responsible thing to do to see what the results of this current reassessment are.”

But the bill drew substantial backing from House Democrats and quiet support from several Republicans, enabling it to easily clear the House. It now awaits consideration in the Senate.

Paul Kiefer comes to Delaware from Seattle, where he covered policing, prisons and public safety for the local news site PubliCola.