[Adopted 3-15-1988 by Ord. No. 88-02]
This article is adopted pursuant to the powers conferred upon the Levy Court of Kent County, Delaware, in Article VIII, Section 1 of the Constitution of the State of Delaware, as amended, and in 9 Del. C. § 8141, as amended.
This article shall be known as the "Program Providing Partial Tax Relief for Totally Disabled Property Owners and Property Owners 65 Years of Age and Older."
To qualify under this article an applicant must be either:
Totally disabled and able to document said disability by meeting the definition of "totally disabled" as defined by social security disability or by filing certified copies of award letters from government agencies indicating that the applicant is totally disabled; or
Sixty-five years of age or older at the beginning of the tax year for which application is made.
However, an individual may only apply for inclusion in this program under one of the two provisions above.
[Amended 4-15-1997 by Ord. No. 97-04; 2-24-1998 by Ord. No. 98-02; 8-26-2003 by Ord. No. 03-20; 4-12-2005 by Ord. No. 05-04]
The applicant shall have maintained his/her principal place of residence in the State of Delaware for the five years immediately preceding the tax year for which application is being made. In addition, the dwelling for which the exemption is sought must be the principal place of residence of the applicant at the time of application and must have been the principal place of residence for the 12 months immediately preceding the tax year for which application is being made. If an applicant is totally disabled and incurred his or her disability as a result of and while in the service of any branch of the United States armed services, the foregoing residency requirements are waived for said applicant, other than the requirement that the dwelling for which the exemption is sought must be the principal place of residence of the applicant at the time of the application.
[Amended 10-9-2007 by Ord. No. 07-27]
Title to the property for which the exemption is sought must be in the name of applicant or in the name of the applicant and the applicant's spouse, or in the name of a revocable grantor trust, as reflected in the official records of the County. In the event that the ownership of the residence dwelling is shared by the applicant and spouse, or revocable grantor trust, with others who do not qualify for participation in this program, then the exemption permitted in § 191-9 shall apply only to the proportionate share of the residence dwelling owned by the applicant and spouse or revocable grantor trust.
Property considered eligible for inclusion under this article shall be only the residence dwelling owned by an eligible applicant and, if applicable, up to one acre of land upon which it is located. Land which has been included under the State of Delaware Farmland Assessment Act shall not be eligible for partial tax relief under this program.
[Amended 4-15-1997 by Ord. No. 97-04; 4-9-2002 by Ord. No. 02-09; 10-10-2006 by Ord. No. 06-37; 11-29-2011 by Ord. No. 11-21]
The total adjusted gross annual income of a single applicant shall not exceed $16,000. The combined total adjusted gross annual income of an applicant and spouse residing together in the subject dwelling shall not exceed $22,000. An additional $3,100 per year may be added to the maximum adjusted gross annual income for each additional dependent residing in the dwelling of a qualified applicant for whom the applicant is the sole means of support. For the purposes of this article, the word “dependent” shall be defined by the Internal Revenue Services.
Editor's Note: This ordinance also provided an effective date of 6-1-2007.
Social security, Railroad Retirement Tier I and, if disabled, pension income directly related to the applicant's disability shall be excluded from the calculation of gross annual income.
[Amended 4-15-1997 by Ord. No. 97-04; 4-12-2005 by Ord. No. 05-04]
An applicant who otherwise qualifies under this article shall be entitled to an exemption from all real property taxes on the first $25,000 of assessed value of the applicant's eligible property as defined in § 191-6. This exemption shall not apply to local ditch taxes or sewer, trash or other fees. If a totally disabled property owner incurred his or her disability as a result of and while in the service of any branch of the United States armed services, an additional $5,000 of assessed value of the applicant's eligible property shall be exempt from all real property taxes.
[Amended 11-29-2011 by Ord. No. 11-21]
Applicants or their legal agents must file for exemption in the office of the Board of Assessment of Kent County in the manner determined no later than April 30 prior to the tax year for which the exemption is sought and must verify their eligibility, in writing, every year thereafter to continue to qualify for the exemption.
Based on the information submitted by the applicant and on County records, the Board of Assessment shall determine whether the application qualifies for the exemption permitted by this article.
No application shall be approved unless all taxes, user fees, sewer service charges, I&E liens and all other taxes and fees then due to or collectible by Kent County have been paid in full by the application submission deadline date.
[Added 11-29-2011 by Ord. No. 11-21]
Eligibility under this article shall terminate automatically when the applicant fails to meet any of the conditions stated herein.
[Amended 11-29-2011 by Ord. No. 11-21]
An applicant may appeal the disposition of an exemption claim in the same manner as is provided for appeals from assessments. The deadline for filing written appeals shall be May 30 prior to the tax year for which the exemption is sought. In calendar year 1988, a later deadline date may be established by the Board of Assessment. Appeal hearings will be scheduled at the convenience of the Board.
The Board of Assessment, with concurrence of the Levy Court, shall establish written procedures providing for the administrative implementation of this article.