Sussex County's coffers are benefiting from the housing boom. At county council's Jan. 11 meeting, Sussex County Finance Director and Chief Operating Officer Gina Jennings reported that revenue from the realty transfer tax is $12 million over budget so far this fiscal year. She recommended that council consider allocating $6.4 million to towns and cities, and $5.6 million to purchase open space. Any expenditures would require a budget amendment approved by council, which is expected to discuss the recommendation at its Tuesday, Jan. 25 meeting starting at 10 a.m. in the county administration building, 2 The Circle, Georgetown.
Realty transfer taxes, the county's largest source of income, can be spent for capital and operating costs for public safety services, economic development programs, public works capital projects and improvements, infrastructure projects and improvements, and debt reduction.
The 4 percent tax is levied on the sale of all property, with 2.5 percent going to the state and 1.5 percent to the counties.
About the same time last year, council voted to spend nearly $10 million in surplus transfer taxes, which included $1 million for land acquisition for future emergency medical services stations, $5.375 million for 22 county ambulance/fire departments and $3 million for the Excite Sussex Loan Fund, the county's economic development loan program.
See the complete agenda and meeting materials at sussexcountyde.gov/agendas-minutes/county-council.
Meetings are available in person, live streamed at sussexcountyde.gov/council-chamber-broadcast and by phone by calling 302-394-5036 using code 570176.