This year’s bills include unpaid code enforcement fees and fines in new effort to recoup more than $1 million in enforcement costs
New Castle, DE – Annual county and school district tax bills are being mailed to property owners next week, New Castle County announced today. These combined billing statements contain county property taxes and local school district property taxes which are both collected by New Castle County’s Office of Finance. School district property taxes account for more than 75% of the average total property tax bill and New Castle County property taxes account for the remaining 25%. County property taxes are the largest source of county government revenue and funds over 60% of general fund expenditures, including most of the county’s public services.
This year’s bills also include unpaid county code enforcement fines and fees in a new effort to recoup more than $1 million owed by property owners. Historically, county government’s authority to collect unpaid code enforcement fines and fees was limited. The Meyer Administration responded by securing a change in state law to give local governments the authority to add these debts to tax bills and County Council adopted this practice into county law last year. As a result, tax bills being mailed next week include $1,163,646 owed by 1,303 property owners for the following code enforcement fees and fines:
- Vacant property registration fees and fines
- Abatement expenses paid by the county to maintain commercial properties
- Abatement expenses paid by the county to maintain vacant residential properties
- Hearing and administrative fees and fines
“I pay my property taxes, and you pay yours,” County Executive Matt Meyer said. “Everyone has to pay their fair share to fund the important county services that our residents count on, and the same applies to any outstanding code enforcement fees and fines.”
County property taxes fund lifesaving county police, paramedics and 911 communications, along with libraries, parks and other services including code enforcement whose staff works to ensure that properties are properly maintained and neighborhoods are safe from blight. Those who fail to maintain their properties impose additional enforcement and cleanup costs on county government. Today’s announcement highlights new steps county government is taking to make sure every property owner pays what they owe.
Annual county and school tax payments are due by September 30, 2019.
Meyer applauded the vast majority of county property owners who pay their tax bills on time and emphasized his administration’s success in collecting delinquent taxes to ensure that county government receives the revenue needed to fund its lifesaving services. In 2017, his administration launched a proactive initiative to improve collections of short-term delinquent property taxes that secured an additional $1.5 million in payments and cut the short-term property tax delinquency rate by 50%. In 2018 it built on that program with additional efforts in partnership with all 5 county school districts to collect long-term debt. In just over half a year those collection efforts brought in $16 million in delinquent taxes and fees, driving the collection rate for 2017 and 2018 county property taxes to a record 99.45%.
New Castle County provides a variety of convenient ways for property owners to pay their tax bills.
- Postal Mail: Property owners may pay both county property taxes and school district property taxes with a single check or money order, payable to “New Castle County” using the return envelope provided in the property tax billing statement. Taxpayers can also send payments by mail to: New Castle County Tax, P.O. Box 782888, Philadelphia, PA 19178-2888.
- In Person: Payments are accepted in person at the New Castle County Government Center, 87 Reads Way, New Castle. A drop box located at the main entrance is available for check and money order payments 24 hours a day. A payment window in the Government Center lobby is staffed from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, where payments are accepted by cash, check, money order, and pin debit card.
- Online: Credit card payments are accepted through Paymentus, a third-party company that accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover Card, and electronic check payments. Paymentus can be reached through the secure link that can be accessed from the billing page of the New Castle County Office of Finance website (www.nccde.org/taxes), or by calling 1-877-225-7351.
Property owners can access their property tax information and verify their payment status online using the County’s Parcel View page at www.nccde.org/parcelview. Those who misplace their billing statement can download a duplicate from this site, which also provides detailed account information including payment history and a breakout of specific charges for property, school, light, and crossing guard taxes.
By county law, any unpaid balance after the September 30 deadline is subject to a 6% penalty and an additional 1% penalty each month thereafter.
Property owners who have questions about the annual tax bill can contact the New Castle County Office of Finance at [email protected] or call (302) 323-2600. Property owners with questions about County Code Enforcement fines and fees can contact the Code Enforcement Office at (302) 395-5555.
Contact: Jason Miller, Director of Communications, 302-545-1462