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Low property taxes reduce cost of living

Thanks to its low property taxes, Sussex is one of the most affordable places to live in the country.
Sussex County's gorgeous scenery - from sunsets on the beach to beautiful views of the Nanticoke River - is easy on the eyes, as well as the wallet. Thanks to tax-free shopping at the Rehoboth Beach outlets and other stores, consumers do not see sales taxes added on to their purchases. Businesses, whether momand-pop markets or large retailers, also do not have to pay additional county taxes. The property tax also is low. In fact, it is based on a 1974 assessment of a home's value. Robert L. Stickels, the county administrator, said that means homeowners are only taxed on about 15 percent of their property's current-market value. Homeowners pay 44.5 cents for each $100 of assessed value. "We feel we are as affordable as any place in the nation," Mr. Stickels said. He said the county has been able to keep the property tax low because of large revenues from the realty transfer tax, which is assessed on property sales. The booming real-estate market in Sussex County has generated enough realty transfer tax proceeds that the county does not rely on the property tax revenue to pay for large building projects. Construction projects, Mr. Stickels said, are financed using realty transfer tax revenue to keep the county's debt burden low. Having little debt protects the county and its taxpayers in case the economy stalls and the realestate transfer tax revenue stream dries up. "We have been using the realestate transfer tax for capital projects to help reduce costs and reduce debt, so if the economy does slow, we do not have debt hanging over our heads," Mr. Stickels said. "I don't think there is any other place in the country our size that can say that," he said. The county can keep residents' property tax rates low because it does not use revenue from that tax to fund services. "We adjust all our fees for services every year," Mr. Stickels said. "We make sure they are paying for themselves. We do not want to take money from someone on a fixed income to subsidize a service for someone else." In case the economy turns bad, Sussex Countians should not expect to see their property tax bills go through the roof. Mr. Stickels said he and other county officials would look at tightening the government's belt and cutting spending instead of asking the residents to pay higher taxes. "We feel there is funding in our budget that we could reduce before we would raise taxes," Mr. Stickels said. "If you have a slowing economy and you start raising taxes, that could be detrimental to businesses. It could slow the recovery of the economy."


REO Specialists!

Cooper Realty Associates currently represents Wilmington Trust Co., Wilmington Saving Fund Society, K-Bank, and M & T Bank, for the listing, sale, and closings of their Bank Owned Foreclosures and completed over 200 BPOs (Broker Price Opinions) for Pr

Summer living, all year long - REHOBOTH BEACH, DELAWARE

Two years before they planned to retire. Sonja and Hoyte Decker settled on the Delaware coast as their retirement destination. Living in Chevy Chase. Maryland, near where Hoyte worked for the U.S. Department of Transportation. the two had been spending...



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Sussex towns enjoy growth, development.

Sussex County's building boom continued in 2004 with housing starts from Rehoboth beach to Bridgeville and Frankford to Milton. Two of the most glamorous developments are planned near Millsboro and Fenwick Island, where golfing legend Jack Nicklaus...

Corporate, Industrial programs offered

Delaware Tech Business and Professional Development Delaware Tech is committed to serving the business community through its Division of Corporate and Community Programs. The Owens Campus offers an extensive list of Business and Professional...

Sussex well known for tax free shopping

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Retiring to Florida? According to the 2000 Census, probably not. Sussex County's percentage of adults age 55-plus is larger than Fort Lauderdale, Fla.'s Broward County or Miami's Dade County. With so much to offer, Sussex County is becoming quite the...

Big beaches provide kick to local economy

Sussex County's pristine beaches attract visitors from the Washington, D.c., Philadelphia, New York and Baltimore regions. The county's ocean and bay beaches help boost local and state econormes. Vacationers rent houses by the week and the...

Five state parks help to get away from it all

When it comes to outdoor recreation, Sussex County is resplendent with beaches and associated watersports. It also is home to five state parks, providing an array of outdoor activities to suit varying interests. Cape Henlopen State Park, Delaware...

Greetings from The Governor

I greatly appreciate the support I have received from people up and down the state of Delaware and look forward to this opportunity to serve as your Governor. I am truly honored by the trust that has been..

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