Delaware General Assembly



Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware in General Assembly met (two-thirds of all the members elected to each House of the General Assembly concurring therein):

Section 1. That Chapter 208, Volume 24, Laws of Delaware, be and the same is hereby amended by adding immediately following Section 9 of said Chapter 208 the following new section to be known as Section 9A:

Section 9A. All taxes laid or imposed by the Commissioners of the Town of Felton shall be and constitute a lien upon all the real estate of the taxable against or upon whom such taxes are laid or imposed of which such taxable was seized at any time after such taxes shall have been levied and imposed, situate in the Town of Felton, and such lien shall have preference and priority to all other liens of record on such real estate created or suffered by the said taxable although such other lien or liens be of a date prior to the time of the attaching of such lien for taxes; provided that the lien for town taxes shall remain a lien for the period of three years from the fifteenth day of May of the year in which such tax shall have been imposed and no longer.

The Treasurer shall have the following powers for the collection of taxes:

(a) By distraint of the goods and chattels of the taxable.

(b) At any time after the delivery of the tax list and warrant, the Treasurer may, in the name of the Town of Felton, institute suit before any Justice of the Peace of the State of Delaware, in any of the Counties of the State, or before the Alderman of the Town, for the recovery of the unpaid tax, in any action of debt, and upon judgment obtained, may issue writs of execution as in case of other judgments recovered before a Justice of the Peace.

The said execution shall constitute a lien upon all the personal property of the taxable within the County where the judgment shall have been obtained, which, by virtue of such execution, shall be levied upon within thirty (30) days after the issuance thereof, and such lien shall have priority over all other liens against the said personal property created or suffered by the taxable, except such liens thereon, which may have been created in respect to County Taxes, although such other liens be of a date prior to the time of the attachment of said tax lien.

(c) At any time after the delivery of the tax list and warrant, the Treasurer may notify in writing the person, firm or corporation by whom any taxable is employed that the tax of said employee is due and unpaid. The notice shall be signed by the Treasurer and shall contain the correct name of the taxable as it appears upon the tax list, the amount of the tax due and the penalty added, if any; and thereupon it shall be the duty of the employer to take from the wage, salary or other money then due the taxable the amount of the tax due and owing from the employee, and charge the same against him, and to pay the same to the Treasurer within ten (10) days. The Treasurer shall give to the employer a certificate of payment which shall be allowed in any suit or accounting between the employer and taxable. If any employer, being notified as aforesaid, and having in his hands money belonging to the taxable, shall neglect or refuse to comply with the provisions hereof, such employer shall become personally liable for the amount of the tax of the persons as to whom notice was given, and the amount thereof may be recovered from such employer in any action of debt before any Justice of the Peace or Alderman, as aforesaid. This process shall be deemed to be in the nature of a garnishment proceeding.

(d) The Treasurer may make a complaint under oath before any Justice of the Peace of Kent County, or before the Alderman, that the tax of any taxable is due and unpaid, and that he has been unable to make collection of a tax by any of the methods for the recovery of taxes prescribed in this charter, and thereupon a warrant shall be issued for the arrest of such taxable, and if, after hearing, it shall be found that the tax of the person arrested is due and unpaid, and if the taxable shall thereupon fail to pay the tax, together with accrued costs, he shall be committed to the Jail of Kent County until the tax, penalty, costs and charges are paid, but not to exceed the term of thirty (30) days.

(e) For the purpose of collecting the tax of any taxable, and without the necessity of first employing the other remedy herein provided, the Treasurer is empowered to sell the lands and tenements of a taxable, or the lands and tenements of a taxable alienated subsequent to the levy of the tax. The Treasurer shall present to the Superior Court of Kent County wherein the lands and tenements are situated a petition in which shall be stated:

(1) The name of the taxable.

(2) The year for which the tax was levied.

(3) The rate of tax.

(4) The total amount due.

(5) The date from which the penalty for non-payment, if any, shall commence, and the rate of such penalty.

(6) A short description of the lands and tenements proposed to be sold sufficient to identify the same.

(7) A statement that a bill of said tax has been mailed to the taxable at his last known post office address and that it has been found impractical to collect the said tax by any of the other remedies as hereinabove provided. The petition shall be signed by the Treasurer and shall be verified before a Notary Public.

The court thereupon shall make an order for the sale of said lands and tenements returnable at the next succeeding term of said court; sales of lands and tenements shall be advertised by posting hand bills in at least five public places in the Town of Felton and publishing the notice of said sale in a newspaper published in Kent County. The notices shall contain the day, hour and place of sale and a short description of the premises sufficient to identify the same, and the hand bills shall be posted at least ten days before the day fixed for sale, and the newspaper advertisement shall be published at least one week before the day of sale.

Each sale of lands and tenements shall be returned to the Superior Court aforesaid at the next term thereof following the sale, and the court shall inquire into the circumstances and either approve or set aside the sale. If .it be approved, the Treasurer shall make a deed to the purchaser which shall convey the title of the taxable or of his alienee; if it be set aside, the court may order another sale, and so on until the tax due is collected. The petition, return and deed shall be presumptive evidence of the regularity of the proceeding.

No sale shall be approved by the court if the owner be ready at court to pay the taxes, penalty and costs, and no deed shall be made until the expiration of one year from the date of sale, within which time the owner, his heirs, executors or assigns, shall have power to redeem the lands on payment to the purchaser, his heirs or assigns, of the costs, the amount of the purchase money and twenty per centum interest thereon, and the expense of the deed, provided, that if the purchaser refuses to accept the same, or in the event the purchaser, or his heirs or assigns, cannot be located within the State of Delaware, then, in either event, it shall be lawful for the owner, his heirs, executors or assigns, to pay the amount of redemption to the Treasurer making the sale, taking from him a good and lawful receipt therefor, and such receipt shall be considered for all intents and purposes as a valid and lawful exercise by the owner, his heirs, executors or assigns, of his or their power to redeem the land so sold.

After satisfying the tax due and the costs and expenses of sale from the proceeds of sale, the amount remaining shall be paid to the owner of the land, or upon the refusal of said owner to accept the same, or if the owner is unknown or cannot be found, the amount remaining shall be deposited in some bank in the Town of Felton either to the credit of the owner or in a manner by which the fund may be identified.

In sales of lands for the payment of taxes, the following costs shall be allowed to be deducted from the proceeds of sale or chargeable against the owner:


For filing and recording petition $1.00

For filing and recording return of sale 1.50

In addition, the costs of printing hand bills and publication of the advertisement of sale shall be chargeable as costs.

The costs of the deed shall not be chargeable as costs but shall be paid by the purchaser.

If the owner of any lands and tenements against which a tax shall be levied and assessed shall be unknown, this fact shall be stated in the advertisement of sale.

If any person is assessed for several parcels of lands and tenements in the same assessment, the total of said taxes may be collected from the sale of any part or portion of said lands and tenements, provided that land alienated by the taxable shall not be sold until other property of the taxable shall have been disposed of.

If the Treasurer shall be unable by the thirty-first day of December of each year of the date of tax list to collect the tax of any taxable, he is empowered, having first paid the amount thereof to the Town, to collect said tax from such taxable for his own use by any of the processes of law herein prescribed within the space of one further year from said thirty-first day of December, after which the said tax shall be extinguished and all authority to the Treasurer under said tax list and warrant shall cease.

During the month of February next following the date of the tax list and warrant the Treasurer shall make full, final and complete settlement with the Commissioners. The Commissioners shall fix such time and place during the said month for settlement with the Treasurer, of which he, the said Treasurer, shall have due notice. At said settlement the Commissioners shall allow to the Treasurer all taxes which shall have been impossible to collect by reason of errors in the assessment lists or otherwise, and not through the default or neglect or delay of the Treasurer, and said settlement shall be final and conclusive, and no other allowance in any form shall be made to the Treasurer by the Commissioners. Upon the conclusion of the said settlement the Treasurer shall forthwith pay over to the credit of the Town the aggregate amount of the taxes found to be due the Town, and upon his failure or neglect to do so, it shall be the duty of the Commissioners to proceed to collect the same from the Treasurer and/or his surety.

The lien of any town taxes upon property may be extended as provided in Section 1418, Article 6, Chapter 79, Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, and the Treasurer shall have the same powers conferred by said section upon the Receiver of Taxes and County Treasurer for Kent County, but no sale shall be made as provided in said section except upon direction of the Commissioners.

The provision of Article 6 of Chapter 79 of the Revised Code of the State of Delaware, 1935, not inconsistent herewith, shall be deemed to apply to all taxes under the provisions of this act.

Approved April 24, 1945.