Tax Office FAQ

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The assessed values are based on 100% of the January 1, 2020 fair market values. The last City of Dover revaluations was in 2020. These values are for tax purposes only.

The current tax rate is $0.455 per $100.00 of assessed fair market value.

Tax bills are mailed out on July 1; supplemental bills are the first week in October, first week in January and the first week in April.

Make checks, money orders or cashier’s checks payable to: City of Dover P.O. Box 15558, Wilmington, DE 19886-5558. Note: Please provide the location number, located at the top of your bill when making your payments to ensure the payment is applied to the proper account.

The Register is on display April 01 of each year at the Library, City Hall, the Tax Office, and on the City of Dover website.

Yes, the City Of Dover currently requires all applicants to reapply every year for the Senior Citizen Property Tax Reduction.

You must be 65 before March 1st of the year the reduction is filed.

No, your name must be on the deed and you must live at the residence in order to qualify for the reduction.

Please contact the Register of Wills at (302) 744-2330.

The City of Dover offers a property tax reduction for veterans that are 100% disabled.

City of Dover ordinance, by way of the City Charter, the City of Dover Tax Office revalues all property every five years to keep current with changes in the market.  During a revaluation all assessments are examined and adjustments are made where necessary to guarantee that all property is assessed uniformly.  This is done to assure that taxes are distributed equitably and uniformly.

The Assessor is a City Council Appointed Official or Contractor, whose duties are to discover, list, and place a value on all taxable real property in the city, in a uniform manner.

City of Dover Ordinance requires property assessments based on fair market value.  Estimating the market value of your property is a matter of determining the price a typical buyer would pay for it in its present condition.  Some factors the assessor considers are: what similar properties are selling for, what it would cost to replace your property, the rent it may earn, and any other factors that affect value.  IT IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT THE ASSESSOR DOES NOT CREATE THIS VALUE, BUT RATHER INTERPRETS WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THE MARKET PLACE.

Market Value is defined as the amount a typical, well-informed purchaser would be willing to pay for a property.  The seller and buyer must be unrelated, the seller must be willing, but not under pressure to sell, and the buyer must be willing, but not under any obligation to buy.  The property must be on the market for a reasonable length of time, the payment must be in cash or its equivalent, and the financing must be typical for that type of property.  If all of these conditions are present, this would be a market value, arm’s length sale.

Computers are useful in the assessment process.  Assessors are trained to look for relationships between property characteristics and market value.  By coding these characteristics and studying sales prices, assessors can estimate value by developing formulas and models.  Computers are much faster and are capable of advanced analysis in this area.  But despite these capabilities, common sense and assessor judgment are always required to verify assessments.  Assessors most familiar with the neighborhoods and properties review all assessments.

It is desirable for the assessor to see the inside and outside of every property, to make a proper inspection.  The law requires that the property be valued from actual view or the best information available.  The Tax Office keeps records of every property within its jurisdiction.  If the assessor cannot view the property from the inside, the assessment will be reviewed based upon existing data.

Improvements that increase the market value of a property will most likely increase the assessment value of the property.  The following are typical items that will increase the assessed value:  Added rooms or garages, replacement of siding, substantial remodeling, adding central air conditioning, decks, porches, etc.  The inspection by the Tax Office and the change to your assessment will be triggered by a Building Permit that is copied to our department via the Inspection and Planning Department.

General economic conditions such as interest rates, inflation rates, supply and demand, and changes in tax laws, will influence the value of real estate.  As property values change in the market place, those changes must be reflected on the assessment role.  These changes will only be reflected during a revaluation year.

There are differences between individual property and between neighborhoods.  In one area the sales may indicate substantial increase in value in a given year or three-year period.  In another neighborhood there may be no change in value or even a decrease in property values.  Different types of properties within the same neighborhood may also show different value changes.

The Tax Office notifies all property owners of any change in their assessment, in writing.  The property owner is also notified of their right to appeal the new assessment.

You should first attempt to decide for yourself what your property is worth.  This can be done by looking at area sales, contacting appraisers, and comparing assessments of similar homes.  Sales and assessment information is available in the assessor’s office.  The information in the Tax Office is available for review during our regular business hours. The first week in April, the annual assessment registers go out.  They are in street address order and can be viewed for comparing your values as well.