Delaware consists of three counties; Kent, New Castle, and Sussex. Sussex County is the largest and is situated at the southern end of the state. Sussex County’s eastern border boasts 24 miles of Atlantic coastline, southward from Cape Henlopen to Fenwick Island at the Maryland State Line.
Central and western Sussex are flat with a mixture of fields and forest, interspersed with streams running either to the coast or to the Nanticoke River; Sussex County’s direct link with the Chesapeake Bay. The inland areas are dotted with dozens of fresh water ponds, several of which are cypress ponds, marking the northernmost extension of the distinctly southern bald cypress tree in America.
The County consists of a total of 605,403 acres. Of this total, approximately 290,000 acres are cropland; 240,000 acres are forested; 20,000 acres are marshland and swamp; 8,000 acres are rural homes and roads; 45,000 acres are town and built-up acres; and 3,000 acres are “small water areas”, i.e. streams, lakes, and ponds.
Within the boundaries of Sussex County are five state parks, 20 state fish and wildlife facilities, two state forests, and a national wildlife refuge, offering a wide spectrum of outdoor recreational activities at all seasons of the year. State parks are open sunrise to sunset year round. User fees are charged March through November.
While Sussex County is a fine vacation spot, it’s an even better place to live and work, or retire, because of the high-quality lifestyle and comparatively low cost of living. Its economy is a balanced blend of agriculture, manufacturing and commerce, recreation, and tourism. It is within a half-day’s drive from Baltimore, Washington, DC, Philadelphia, New York City, Richmond, and Norfolk, yet the cost of living and business is less than in the nearby metropolitan areas.
The housing market is experiencing a resurgence, and the inventory of new home communities and re-sales can satisfy most any homeowner’s wish list.
The Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce service area spans from the MD/DE line in Fenwick Island north to the Indian River Bridge and west to Route 113 in Selbyville serving the towns of Bethany Beach, Fenwick Island, Millville, Ocean View, Frankford, South Bethany and Selbyville. The Quiet Resorts Area offers something for everyone from the Beaches to the Bays and Beyond! Visit OUR TOWNS!
In general terms, the cost of living in Sussex County tends to be quite low. The area is still predominately rural and land values are still extremely low in comparison to nearby urban and suburban areas, with the exception of the immediate coastal area. Because so much of the county has access to water, one can quite easily find desirable inland properties with boating access to the rivers, bays, and ocean for reasonable prices.
Sussex County property taxes are by far the lowest in Delaware and among the lowest in the nation, while the services offered by the county government are quite extensive. In addition, Delaware has no sales tax and no real or personal state property tax.
Sussex County is governed by five Sussex County Council members, each of whom represents a district apportioned on the basis of population. Each council person is elected for a four-year term. An appointed County Administrator is responsible for day-to-day operations of the County government and reports directly to the County Council. Georgetown, located near the geographical center of Sussex County, was created to function as the County seat in 1791. Georgetown is now the center of County government, and serves as home to the branch offices of many state and federal agencies. The mayor and council form of government is the most popular of municipal governments. In general, most municipalities control their own zoning, although zoning in several of the smaller towns is managed by the County Zoning Commission. Visit Sussex County.