Wilmington Mayor Wants Every Home In New Castle County Reassessed

The City of Wilmington’s Mayor wants every property parcel in New Castle County reassessed.

Mayor Mike Purzycki indicated on Tuesday, that he wants the city to join a lawsuit filed in Chancery Court by the Community Legal Aid Society and the American Civil Liberties Union.

Plaintiffs in the suit are arguing that Delaware’s school funding formula and its reliance on outdated property assessment is unfair. They too want all properties in the county to be reassessed.

The move would dramatically increase property taxes for each property owner in New Castle County.  The last countywide assessment was 35 years ago.

Mayor’s Statement

“Mayor Purzycki Expresses Disappointment on Behalf of All Taxpayers and Local School Districts with the County’s Response to the City’s Call for a Property Tax Reassessment County and City properties have not been reassessed by the County since 1983; Mayor says the current County assessment process is unconstitutional, unlawful and harmful to City property owners Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki said late today that he is disappointed with the New Castle County government’s response to his call for a complete, countywide property tax reassessment. The City of Wilmington has asked a Chancery Court judge to allow the City to join a lawsuit that could force the County government to conduct the first property tax reassessment in nearly 40 years.

NCC Executive Matt Meyer said late today that the City should conduct its own reassessment. In response, the Mayor said, “No one can defend thirty-six years without ensuring fundamental tax fairness. The county executive fails to note that county taxes and school taxes are required by law to use county assessments. A city reassessment, therefore, would apply only to city taxes, leaving city residents unfairly assessed on both their county property and school taxes, negatively affecting each of the school districts serving Wilmington’s children. Since it is only a matter of time before a court orders the county to reassess, telling the city that it should conduct its own would result in two separate reassessment exercises for which taxpayers should be rightly furious.”

The Mayor said the county is ignoring the self-admitted unfairness in its property assessments to all county residents, including those within the City, and especially to the local school systems. He said the Delaware General Assembly long ago established a public policy that gives municipalities the statutory right to utilize the county’s assessment list. The Mayor added that Wilmington should have every right to do this.”

County Executive Matthew Meyer Statement 

“Wilmington’s Mayor today announced that the City is attempting to sue New Castle County to require a countywide property reassessment. In its filing with the court, Wilmington claims the City is required to use New Castle County property assessments as the basis for its municipal property tax system.

Today, County Executive Matthew Meyer issued the following response to this action by the City of Wilmington:

There is no need to waste City and County taxpayer money by litigating this issue in court. If the City wants to reassess property, it has the power to do so under State law. In fact, Dover and Rehoboth reassess property on their own. Delaware law grants municipalities the authority to reassess properties within their boundaries (see 22 Del. Code, Chapter 11, online at http://delcode.delaware.gov/title22/c011/index.shtml).” In June of last year, the New Castle County Council raised property taxes by 15%.



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First State Update's Delaware editorial team covers New Castle County, Kent County and Sussex County breaking news, political news, and general news stories. We bring the reader the latest news from the Wilmington, Newark, Dover, Rehoboth Beach and all point in between. If you have news to share, email us at desk@firststateupdate.com.

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