Sussex County begins issuing annual property tax bills
Sussex County’s annual tax season is here, and soon tens of thousands of annual tax bills will begin making their way to mailboxes and inboxes alike.
The county’s billing office has begun issuing tax bills for the 2015 fiscal year, totaling an estimated $117 million in tax revenue. Bills will be issued throughout August, both by standard mail and electronically. Payment is due Sept. 30.
This year’s tax bills once again feature an easier-to-read format, unveiled in 2013, to help taxpayers better understand their bills and payment options. Meantime, a number of payment options are available for the public’s convenience. A tutorial explaining how to view account information and make payments is available at www.sussexcountyde.gov/property-tax-portal-tutorial.
“The county has worked diligently over the past several years to put on its website as much information as possible, and in a format that is easy for the public to understand and use,” County Finance Director Gina A. Jennings said. “We believe that, along with an improvement payment process, makes for a better customer service experience all the way around.”
The county will mail 128,300 paper copies, while the remaining 42,700 bills will be sent electronically to mortgage lenders, requiring no paper or postage. Property owners not receiving a paper bill should check with their lender to ensure billing and has occurred.
Property owners can view their tax bills online in an information portal, and those who no longer receive a statement still can request a paper copy of their account’s status, if needed.
Annual tax bills include county property taxes, and 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. Roughly 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, and debit or credit cards. Taxpayers have different options to make their payments. These include:
Many taxpayers have their annual taxes paid out of escrow accounts by their mortgage lenders. If these taxpayers have any questions regarding the status of their escrow accounts, they should contact their lenders.
Payment can be made on the Internet, with the use of most major credit cards or by check. Go to www.sussexcountyde.gov and select “Online Payment” at the top right of the page.
Property owners can mail their tax payments using the return envelopes included in their statements. Checks and money orders should be made payable to “Sussex County Government” and 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 be considered received on time. Unpaid balances are subject to monthly interest charges.
The county’s payment center is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. The office is located on the first floor of the County Administrative Offices building, 2 The Circle, in Georgetown. A convenient and secure after-hours payment drop box also is available, located in the lobby. For those making payment by telephone, call 1-866-791-9802. Callers must have their statement available when making a telephone payment.
For more information or general questions, call 302-855-7871.