For fifth time in six years, Indian River lowers property tax rate

DAGSBORO — At its reorganizational meeting July 1, the Indian River School District Board of Education approved a reduced property tax rate for Fiscal Year 2020.

The new rate of $3.035 per $100 of assessed value represents a decrease of 3.2 cents from FY 2019.

The decrease resulted from reductions to the debt service, tuition and minor cap components of the overall tax rate.

The average district taxpayer will see a reduction of approximately $6.61 in his or her annual tax bill.

“This marks the fifth time in six years that we’ve been able to offer a property tax reduction to IRSD residents,” IRSD Superintendent Mark Steele said. “These reductions have amounted to a total decrease of 22.7 cents since Fiscal Year 2015. As always, we are pleased to relieve the financial burden on our taxpayers, and I want to thank the district finance office for identifying these areas of savings.”

The only recent increase in the district’s property tax rate was in FY 2018 following the passage of a current expense referendum in March 2017.

While current expense rate remained at $2.35, there were reductions in the following for FY 2020: debt service, from $.092 to $0.177; tuition, from $0.480 to $0.465; and minor cap, from $0.045 to $0.043.

The Indian River district currently has the lowest school property tax rate in Sussex County.

To calculate school taxes, IRSD residents should divide their property assessment by 100 and then multiply that number by the tax rate of $3.035.

This will determine their overall tax burden for FY 2020.


In its annual reorganization, longtime board member Charles Bireley was re-elected president by a unanimous vote.

Rodney Layfield was re-elected to serve as board vice president by a vote of 8-1-1. Mr. Layfield abstained, and Dr. Heather Statler cast the “no” vote.

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