Sussex County begins issuing annual property tax bills

GEORGETOWN – As the summer season draws closer to an end, a new season is gearing up in Sussex County – tax time.

Each August, Sussex County government issues tens of thousands of tax bills for the more than 170,000 parcels in the county, with revenue collected funding a variety of local public services.

The County’s Billing Services office has begun issuing tax bills for the 2016 fiscal year, totaling an estimated $124 million in tax revenue. Bills will be issued throughout the month of August, both by standard mail and electronically.

Payment is due by 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 on the County’s website, at http://www.sussexcountyde.gov/property-tax-portal-tutorial.

“Sussex County continues to offer a number of conveniences for the public’s benefit, from receiving and understand your bill to making payments online or in person,” County Finance Director Gina A. Jennings said. “Taxes are something no one looks forward to, but the County has tried to make it as effortless and as convenient a process as possible.”

The County will mail 135,340 paper copies, while the remaining 38,529 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 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. Approximately 12 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:

THROUGH LENDER

Many taxpayers have their annual taxes paid out of escrow accounts by their mortgage lenders. Escrow customers do not receive paper bills. However, billed amounts are available online by visiting www.sussexcountyde.gov/pay-your-bill and selecting the “Sussex County Self Service site” link on the page. If escrow customers have any questions regarding the status of their accounts, they should contact their lenders.

ONLINE

Payment can be made on the Internet, with the use of most major credit cards or by e-check. Please visit www.sussexcountyde.gov and select “Online Payment” at the top right of the page.

BY MAIL

Property owners can mail their tax payments using the return envelopes included with their bills. 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.

IN PERSON OR BY TELEPHONE

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 annual tax bill available when making a telephone payment

For more information or general questions, please call 855-7871.

The Sussex County Post delivers news from Georgetown and southern Delaware. Follow @SussexPost on Twitter.

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