Delaware's New Property Reassessment Plan

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Delaware's New Property Reassessment Plan: What It Means for Homeowners Aged 55 and Older

Delaware is implementing a new plan to reassess property values every five years. This change aims to ensure fair and up-to-date property valuations across the state. For homeowners, especially those aged 55 and older, this reassessment plan carries significant implications. In this post, we'll explore the details of the plan and its potential impact on the older population in Delaware.

Understanding the Reassessment Plan

The state's decision to reassess property values every five years marks a shift from the previous system, where reassessments occurred infrequently. The goal is to align property values more closely with current market conditions, ensuring a fair distribution of property taxes. Regular reassessments help address disparities that can arise over time as property values fluctuate.

Impact on Homeowners Aged 55 and Older

1. Financial Implications

For homeowners aged 55 and older, the financial impact of regular reassessments can be significant. Fixed-income retirees may face challenges if property taxes increase as a result of higher assessed values. It's essential for this demographic to plan for potential changes in their tax bills and explore available relief programs.

2. Property Tax Relief Programs

Delaware offers several property tax relief programs designed to assist older homeowners. The Senior School Property Tax Credit, for example, provides a credit against school property taxes for residents aged 65 and older. Understanding and leveraging these programs can help mitigate the financial impact of reassessments.

3. Home Equity Considerations

Regular reassessments may also affect home equity. While higher property values can increase equity, they can also lead to higher taxes. Homeowners aged 55 and older should consider the balance between growing equity and the potential tax burden. For those looking to sell their homes, higher assessed values can be a double-edged sword, potentially attracting higher offers but also increasing the cost of holding onto the property.

4. Community and Lifestyle Impact

Property tax increases can influence community demographics and lifestyle choices. Older homeowners may feel pressured to downsize or relocate to more affordable areas. This shift can impact social networks and access to amenities that are important for maintaining quality of life.

Strategies for Older Homeowners

1. Stay Informed and Proactive

Staying informed about reassessment schedules and understanding how assessments are conducted can help homeowners anticipate changes. Engaging with local tax assessors and attending community meetings can provide valuable insights.

2. Explore Tax Relief Options

Investigating available tax relief programs and eligibility criteria is crucial. Programs such as the aforementioned Senior School Property Tax Credit can offer substantial savings. Consulting with a financial advisor or tax professional can provide personalized advice. 

3. Consider Financial Planning

Long-term financial planning is essential for managing potential tax increases. Homeowners should evaluate their budgets, consider future income sources, and explore options such as reverse mortgages if necessary. If you do not have a financial planner or are considering a reverse mortgage, I’ll be happy to refer you to a few of the professionals I know.

4. Engage in Community Advocacy

Older homeowners can advocate for policies that address their unique needs. Engaging with local government representatives and participating in community discussions can help shape policies that consider the financial realities of aging populations. 


Delaware's new property reassessment plan aims to create a fairer property tax system, but it also brings challenges, especially for homeowners aged 55 and older. By staying informed, exploring relief options, and engaging in proactive financial planning, older residents can navigate these changes and make informed decisions about their homes and finances. The goal is to balance the benefits of accurate property valuations with the financial stability and quality of life that older homeowners deserve.