At one time the Town of Delmar Delaware had the highest property tax rate in Delaware. It currently may not have the honor of having the highest tax rate but it still is up in the top five. Let's compare Delmar to Wilmington. In Delmar we have $1.31 per hundred for Delmar, $.445 for Sussex County, $.2293 for Sussex tech, and a $3.20 for the Delmar School District tax for a total of $5.1843 per hundred of property value. In Wilmington they are charged a New Castle county tax of $.158, a vocational Tech School charge of $.105, a school tax of $1.612 and a City tax of $1.3969 for a total of $3.2719 per hundred. The Delmar tax rate is 58% higher than Wilmington. Now this is a simple look at the property tax rates and there maybe many other taxes to consider. I did not include Per capita taxes in either county. If we consider the percentage of the tax rates compare to the average amount of income the people in Delmar ($26,818) versus Wilmington average income of $35,116 (about 26% higher) than Delmar taxpayers takes an even harder hit. The saving grace is the value of Delmar's property is less than Wilmington property and Sussex County assessment of property values is very low, so in absolute dollars the tax bill is less than Wilmington. New Castle County executive Chris Coon is requesting a 5% increase in the property tax rate for FY2007.
Today is the day picked to celebrate the founding of Maryland 372 years ago. I wonder if present day Maryland would live up to the founding fathers expectations?
Property tax is the main source of revenue for the town of Delmar, Delaware. The last time a property assessment was made was about 1989. Obviously since 1989 the cost of goods and services the town purchases has gone up but the revenue from the property tax assessment base has not. Even I, an on going fighter of government waste can see that a reassessment of our property is required.
I think there should be put in place a town charter mechanism to reassess property every eight years. This would routinely increase or decrease the town assessment base and give property owners a chance to become use to routine assessment. Eight years is also long enough so the town government will not be flush with an on going influx of cash and end up like the Hogs feeding off the Wicomico County tax base. As I recall the 1989 assessment cost the town of Delmar, Delaware between $25,000 to $50,000 to do. No doubt now it would be in the $50,000 to $75,000 range, unless there is some State of Delaware help out there. If the reassessment only brought in enough revenue to cover the appraisers cost than it would be a waste of time doing it.
It is my understanding that currently any new property, since 1989, build in the Town of Delmar is assessed at one half it selling price. I do not know if this applies to commercial property. Is the State Line Plaza assessed at one half of it real value? I guess the low income apartments properties in Delmar are assessed at half value as they were built after 1989. The ideal was to make it fair to builders of new property because someone in the town government felt a 1989 property assessment was only half the value of what the property would be worth in 2006. Mayor Outten new annexation and proposed houses being built in Delmar Delaware would only bring in a tax base of half of the actual selling value. No doubt a selling point for real estate developers. I disagree with that procedure. I think once a house is sold in a fair and open market transaction than the selling price becomes the new assessed value of the property. After all when the appraisers come thru they determine the value of a house based on selling prices of comparable property.
Property taxes are unique in that the services provided by the revenue is equally distributed to everyone but the way the property tax is paid is totally unfair. By this I mean two home owners, one owning a $60,000 home and the other owning a $240,000 home both pay the same property tax rate. Obviously the $240,000 home owner is paying 4 times what the $60,000 homeowner is paying yet he gets no more in town services than the owner of the $60,000 house. In truth the $240,000 home owner probably lives in a recently newly built development and he has new streets and services. The $60,000 homeowner probably lives in the old part of Delmar and will require street repavement, street sweeping etc oh I forgot the Town of Delmar doesn’t do that for anyone so I guess the services are the same.
Good News for Wicomico County, Wicomico County Council President Anthony Sarbanes said he will not run for re-election. Now if the TaxPayers of Wicomico County can get rid of Marvin Long and Edward Taylor maybe they could produce an effective Country Council. Of note those three also voted to reverse the annexation process that had been in effect for several months.
I am sitting here watching a Walmart plastic bag blow around in the wind from a limb in the top of a tree. I have no doubt Walmart has produced enough bags to cover the face of the earth. I have never viewed myself as a recycler. I do however take my old newspapers to the Delaware recycling can and I try to find a place to take all those damn plastic bags. In Delmar, Food Lion has a recycling bin in front of the store on the outside. So you only semi have to look like a rag picker hauling plastic bags to the bin. Since most of the bags are from Walmart I prefer to take them back to WalMart. Walmart (North Salisbury Store) use to have a cardboard box for plastic bags as you entered the store. It has now been moved to the customer service area. It virtualy ensures I will not be lugging my plastic bags thru the store to put them in their recycling bin. You would think a Company that generates that much packaging material would be out in front of the pack in encouraging recycling.
This month the Planning and Zoning meeting will be at 7 PM on March 23rd, Thursday. The Utility Meeting and Public Works meeting (separate meetings) will be 6:30 Monday March 27th. The Joint Council Meeting for Delmar will be at 7 PM Monday, March 27th.