Rehoboth Beach Plans for First Reassessment Since 1968 - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Rehoboth Beach Plans for First Reassessment Since 1968

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(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del.- The city of Rehoboth Beach is moving forward with plans for the first reassessment in more than four decades.

Mayor Sam Cooper said a search is under way for a firm to complete the project. The last assessment took place in 1968.

"It's become so outdated," Cooper said. "After 44 years, it really needs to be done now."

The mayor said the leading issues are fair distribution of taxes and changing dynamics of the real estate market. Cooper said the reassessment will probably show a large increase in land value, especially near the ocean.

The city is expected to cut its tax rate, making any assessment changes revenue neutral.

"Some tax bills are going to go up, some will go down, some are going to stay about the same but it will be revenue neutral to the city," Cooper said. "We will take in the same amount of tax revenue."

The city has set aside $138,000 for the project, which will include more about 3,250 properties.

The proposal has some business owners concerned, especially renters who fear a higher assessment will lead to higher taxes that could eventually be passed down by the owner.

"We know an assessment probably is inevitable but maybe there needs to be a little moratorium with the timing until the economy gets a little stronger," said business owner Steve Fallon.

Commissioner Stan Mills is a former city assessor. He said the city is overdue for reassessment.

"I call a citywide reassessment the great equalizer," Mills said.

The project is expected to take about nine months to complete and likely will not impact tax bills until 2014, Cooper said.

Commissioners need to approve a reassessment. A vote could take place by December.

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