Sussex County begins issuing annual property tax bills

by Dave on July 28, 2010

Sussex County’s annual tax bills are on their way to mailboxes and some inboxes, too.

Starting next week, the County’s Treasury Division will begin issuing tens of thousands of annual tax bills for the 2011 fiscal year, totaling an estimated $101 million in revenue. Bills will continue to be mailed throughout the month of August. Payment is due by Sept. 30.

While the total number of bills issued tops 168,500, the County once again will reduce the amount of bills actually printed and mailed, to about 128,000 paper bills this year. Just as was done last year, the remaining 39,500 will be sent electronically to mortgage lenders, requiring no paper, postage or time to distribute, representing a sizeable savings to County government.

Amanda M. Bennett, director of the County’s Treasury Division, said last year’s shift to paperless billing for those property owners whose taxes are rolled into their monthly mortgage payments, through what is known as escrow accounts, was well received. All property owners can view their tax bills online, and those who no longer receive a statement still can request a paper copy of their account’s status, if needed.

“I think many people appreciate having one less thing to worry about,” Ms. Bennett said. “Quite a few constituents have commented about how easy the new paperless billing is. We’re glad they’re happy with it, and we’re looking at ways we can add even more convenience in the future, including additional tax information on our Web site that the public can access anytime.”

Annual tax bills include County property taxes, as well as County sewer and water, tax ditch and street lighting fees, where applicable. Additionally, tax bills include local school district taxes, which are collected by the County, but turned over to the State. Delaware law requires Sussex County to bill property owners for school taxes on behalf of the eight public school districts within the county. Approximately 10 percent to 14 percent of the typical residential tax bill is for County property taxes.

Sussex County accepts tax payments by cash, check, money order or credit card. Taxpayers have different options to make their payments. These include:

THROUGH LENDER

Many taxpayers have their annual taxes paid out of an escrow account by their mortgage lenders. If these taxpayers have any questions regarding the status of their escrow accounts, they should contact their lenders.

ONLINE

Payment can be made on the Internet, with the use of most major credit cards or by check. Go to www.sussexcountyde.gov/e-service/propertytaxes/ and select “Make a Payment” on the left side for more information.

BY MAIL

Property owners can mail their tax payments using the return envelopes included in their statements. Bills should be addressed to the Sussex County Treasury Division, PO Box 429, Georgetown, DE 19947. All payments sent by mail must be postmarked by Sept. 30 to avoid the 1.5 percent penalty, per month, on unpaid balances.

IN PERSON OR BY TELEPHONE

The County’s tax office is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. The office is located on the second floor, Room 252, of the County Administrative Offices building, 2 The Circle, in Georgetown. For more information, call (302) 855-7760

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