Just in time for your summer vacation, annual county and school district tax bills are being mailed to property owners next week, according to New Castle County officials.
The combined billing statements contain county property taxes and local school district property taxes which are both collected by New Castle County’s Office of Finance. The county says that school district property taxes account for more than 75% of the average total property tax bill and New Castle County property taxes account for the remaining 25%.
County property taxes are the largest source of county government revenue, funding over 60% of general fund expenditures, including most of the county’s public services.
This year’s bills also include unpaid county code enforcement fines and fees in a new county effort to recoup more than $1 million owed by property owners.
In a news release, the county says that its historic authority to collect unpaid code enforcement fines and fees was limited. The Meyer administration responded by securing a change in state law to give local governments the authority to add these debts to tax bills and County Council adopted this practice into county law last year. As a result, tax bills being mailed next week include $1,163,646 owed by 1,303 property owners for the following code enforcement fees and fines:
- Vacant property registration fees and fines
- Abatement expenses paid by the county to maintain commercial properties
- Abatement expenses paid by the county to maintain vacant residential properties
- Hearing and administrative fees and fines
“I pay my property taxes, and you pay yours,” County Executive Matt Meyer said. “Everyone has to pay their fair share to fund the important county services that our residents count on, and the same applies to any outstanding code enforcement fees and fines.”
County property taxes fund lifesaving county police, paramedics and 911 communications, along with libraries, parks and other services including code enforcement whose staff works to ensure that properties are properly maintained and neighborhoods are safe from blight. Those who fail to maintain their properties impose additional enforcement and cleanup costs on county government. Today’s announcement highlights new steps county government is taking to make sure every property owner pays what they owe.
Annual county and school tax payments are due by September 30, 2019.