There is hereby imposed upon the transfer of all real property located within the Town limits, as they now or hereafter exist, a tax of 1 1/2% of the value of the property conveyed in conformance with the definitions and exceptions governing the state realty transfer tax as contained within 30 Del. C. § 5401 et seq., and all amendments theretofore or thereafter adopted.
Any tax imposed by this article shall be appropriated equally between the grantor and the grantee; provided, however, that the parties to any transaction which is subject to the realty transfer tax imposed by this article may, as between themselves, agree to allocate the tax otherwise; but in all events, it shall be the ultimate responsibility of the grantee to see that the appropriate amount of tax is paid no later than the presentation of the document involved in such a transaction for recording at the appropriate recorder of deeds office. Upon receipt of the appropriate amount, the Town office or its duly authorized agent shall, upon the document relating to such transaction, confirm that the tax imposed by this article has been paid. The Town may appoint the County Recorder of Deeds or any attorney-at-law as its duly authorized agent to collect a realty transfer tax imposed by this article and to confirm such payment on the face of the document presented for recording.
Where any real property within the Town is transferred without payment of the appropriate real estate transfer tax in violation of this article:
The amount due shall bear interest at the rate established by Delaware law, commencing with the date that such document is duty recorded in the Sussex County Recorder of Deeds office, and the transferee in such transactions shall be personally liable for the full amount of such tax plus all accrued interest to date of payment.
The amount of such tax, together with the accrued interest thereon, shall constitute a charge or assessment against the property so transferred and shall be a lien against the property so transferred in accordance with the procedures set forth in the Charter of the Town and/or in accordance with the procedures set forth in the general statutes of the state regarding municipal liens. If suit should be brought by the Town to collect such delinquent tax, then the Town shall be entitled, in addition to the original amount owed plus accrued interest, to be reimbursed for its reasonable attorney's fees and court costs.
Where any document involved in a transaction subject to the tax imposed by this article is recorded without payment thereof, such recording shall constitute a violation and the grantee shall, upon conviction before any court of competent jurisdiction, pay a fine of $1,000, plus any applicable court costs and assessments.
This article shall be applied, construed and interpreted according to the provisions of the state realty transfer tax as set forth in 30 Del. C. § 5401 et seq., as it may have heretofore been or is hereafter amended, it being the intent of this article that it apply whenever the state's realty transfer tax applies; provided, however, that:
In applying the provisions of the state's realty transfer tax statute through this article, the "Town of Fenwick Island" shall be substituted (where appropriate) for the "State of Delaware," "Department of Finance," "Division of Revenue" or the like.
The provisions of 30 Del. C. § 5405 (Documentary stamps; affixing; cancellation; other methods), § 5406 (Furnishing stamps; sale; agents; compensation; bond premiums), § 5407 (Enforcement; rules and regulations), § 5408 (Failure to affix stamps), § 5412 (Grantor to pay tax), § 5414 (Tax Lien) and § 5415 (Distribution of tax receipts) or any future corresponding provisions of law shall not be held applicable to the operation and application of this article.
The unlawful acts set out at 30 Del. C. § 5410 now and as it may hereafter be amended shall, to the extent applicable to the Town ordinances and not otherwise superseded hereby, likewise be unlawful acts under this article, conviction for which shall result in a fine of $1,000.
Where any provision of 30 Del. C. § 5401 et seq. is inconsistent with this article, the provisions of this article shall control; and wherever any provision of 30 Del. C. § 5401 et seq. is not applicable or appropriate, it shall be disregarded or construed so as to best achieve the purpose of this article, which is that whenever a realty transfer tax becomes due to the state under 30 Del. C. § 5401 et seq., a realty transfer tax of 11/2% shall likewise become due to the town.
The effective date for imposition of the realty transfer tax will be September 1, 1998.
All revenues from the realty transfer tax shall be maintained in a separate interest-bearing account segregated from the town's general fund. Individual disbursements from this account shall be made only after approval by Town Council. Accounting of realty transfer tax revenues and disbursements shall be reported monthly and in the annual Town audit.