Sussex County begins issuing annual property tax bills
Sussex County announced Aug. 11 its billing services office has begun issuing bills for the 2021 fiscal year, totaling an estimated $166.3 million in tax revenue.
Each August, Sussex County government issues tens of thousands of tax bills for the more than 179,000 parcels in the county, with revenue collected funding a variety of local public services. Bills can be viewed at munis.sussexcountyde.gov/mss/citizens/realestate.
For property owners without mortgage escrow accounts, paper copies will be mailed throughout August, with payment due by Sept. 30, the deadline established by Delaware Code.
Tax bills feature an easy-to-read format to help taxpayers understand their bills and payment options, a number of which are available for the public’s convenience, an important offering given the ongoing COVID-19 emergency facing Delaware and the nation. A tutorial explaining how to view account information and make payments is available on the county’s website, sussexcountyde.gov/property-tax-portal-tutorial.
For the 2021 tax year, the county will mail more than 133,000 paper copies, while nearly 48,250 bills will be sent electronically to mortgage lenders, requiring no paper or postage. Property owners not receiving a paper bill and who have a current escrow account are encouraged to check with their lenders to verify payment status.
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 set by and vary among the eight independent school districts. Delaware law requires Sussex County to bill property owners for school taxes on behalf of the districts, with those funds then turned over to the state. Approximately 10% of the typical residential tax bill is for county property taxes, with the remainder going to public education.
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 a 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 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 online with most major credit cards or by e-check. Visit 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, P.O. Box 601, 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 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays; access may be limited at times and is subject to change due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions. Anyone paying in person is subject to a health screening and safety protocols, including answering a wellness survey, undergoing a temperature check and wearing a mask/face covering. The office is located on the first floor of the County Administrative Offices building, 2 The Circle, Georgetown. A secure after-hours payment drop box also is available, located in the lobby. For those making payment by telephone, call 866-791-9802. Callers must have their annual tax bill available when making a telephone payment.
For more, call 855-7871; visit sussexcountyde.gov/June2020-reopening for updates on safety protocols.