Sussex County taxpayers will have a clear sign in the days ahead that summer is nearing its end, as tax bills for the 2020 fiscal year begin their annual trek to mailboxes and inboxes alike.
Each August, Sussex County government issues tens of thousands of tax bills for the more than 179,000 parcels in the county, with the revenue collected funding a variety of local public services. The County’s Billing Services office has begun issuing bills for the 2020 fiscal year, totaling an estimated $160.2 million in tax revenue. Bills can be viewed online, at https://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.
Tax bills feature a format designed to help taxpayers understand their bills and payment options, a number of which 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.
For the 2020 tax year, the County will mail more than 130,000 paper copies, while more than 51,000 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 being 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 percent 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 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 online with most major credit cards or by e-check. 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, 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 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. Those making payment by telephone should call 1-866-791-9802. Callers must have their annual tax bill available when making a telephone payment.
For more information or general questions, call (302) 855-7871.