General Duties and powers:
Board of Public Works to appraise & assess:
"Each county in this State shall constitute one assessment district and shall elect one assessor,...."
Assessors shall select deputies, assistants, and other employees.
Assessor to apportion work among deputies equally.
Assessor to review and revise work of deputies to ensure equal and uniform assessments.
Assessor required to value property according to the rule prescribed by law.
There shall be an annual meeting of the assessors.
Deputies assess property of assessor and assessor assesses property of deputies.
All property to be assessed annually as of July 1st at its true and actual value.
Farms to be valued by giving consideration to the income the property may be expected to earn in its locality.
The taxes are to be paid by the owner on July 1st whether assessed to them or to others.
Recordation of a plan or plat not to be used by assessor for valuation purposes until such time as the actual use of the property has changed.
Assessor to canvas taxpayers to obtain a list of property to be assessed.
Assessment work to be completed by 30th of January.
Taxpayer to receive notice of increase in real property assessment where the increase is more than 10%.
Property omitted from books for period less than 5 years is to be entered and assessed on the current books.
Supplemental assessment can now be made on all Personal Property.
Who is deemed owner:
Certain property is exempt from taxation (see W. Va. Code § 11-3-9 and Title 110 Series 3 Legislative Rules).
Failure to list property:
Assessor to use best information available to assess property.
Corporate property to be returned on or before October 1st.
Assessment of property of banks formerly limited to stock and realty.
Property books to be completed and submitted to Board of Review and Equalization no later than February 1st.
After copies of the property books are delivered to Board of Review, they may not be altered except on action of Board of Review or court order on appeal.
Board of Reviews:
Classification of Taxability Issues:
Errors of clerical nature as opposed to an error in judgment may be corrected on appeal to County Commission.
In making out land book, copy of last year's books to be used where proper.
Clerk to provide transfer list by 10th day of following month.
Land and building assessed separately.
New building must be complete before assessed on real books. (Materials in same, until completion, may be assessed on personal property books).
Land in more than one county:
Owners of contiguous tracts of land in same district may, upon petition and order of county commission, have tracts consolidated.
Segregation of a tract or lot permissible upon order of County Commission for purposes of classification.
Notice of increased assessment required exceptions to notice.
(a) If the assessor determines the assessed valuation of any item of real property is more than ten percent greater than the valuation assessed for that item in the last tax year, the increase is one thousand dollars or more and the increase is entered in the property books as provided in section nineteen of this article, the assessor shall give notice of the increase to the person assessed or the person controlling the property as provided in section two of this article. The notice shall be given at least fifteen days prior to the first meeting in February at which the county commission meets as the board of equalization and review for that tax year and advise the person assessed or the person controlling the property of his or her right to appear and seek an adjustment in the assessment. (Emphasis added)
Required that Board of Public Works is to assess property of public services businesses.
Public Service Businesses:
Exempts the 1st $20,000 of assessed value of a homestead used and occupied by owner exclusively for residential purposes when:
Provided the owner has been or will be a resident of the State for two (2) consecutive calendar years preceding the tax year to which the exemption relates.
(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection(a) of this section, no property is exempt from taxation which has been purchased or procured for the purpose of evading taxation whether temporarily holding the same over the first day of the assessment year or otherwise.
(c) Real property which is exempt from taxation by subsection (a) of this section shall be entered upon the assessor's books, together with the true and actual value thereof, but no taxes may be levied upon the property or extended upon the assessor's books.
(d) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section, this section does not exempt from taxation any property owned by, or held in trust for, educational, literary, scientific, religious or other charitable corporations or organizations, including any public or private nonprofit foundation or corporation existing for the support of any college or university located in West Virginia, unless such property, or the dividends, interest, rents or royalties derived therefrom, is used primarily and immediately for the purposes of the corporations or organizations.
(e) The Tax Commissioner shall, by issuance of rules, provide each assessor with guidelines to ensure uniform assessment practices statewide to effect the intent of this section.
(f) Inasmuch as there is litigation pending regarding application of this section to property held by fraternities and sororities, amendments to this section enacted in the year one thousand nine hundred ninety-eight shall apply to all cases and controversies pending on the date of such enactment.
(g) The amendment to subdivision (27), subsection (a) of this section, passed during the two thousand five regular session of the Legislature, shall apply to all applicable lease purchase agreements in existence upon the effective date of the amendment.
The county commission shall annually, not later than the first day of February, meet for the purpose of reviewing and equalizing the assessment made by the assessor. It shall not adjourn for longer than three days at a time until this work is completed, and shall not remain in session for a longer period than twenty-eight days and shall not adjourn sine die before the fifteenth day of February. At the first meeting, the assessor shall submit the property books for the current year, which shall be complete in every particular, except that the levies shall not be extended. The assessor and his assistants shall attend and render every assistance possible in connection with the value of property assessed by them. The commission shall proceed to examine and review the property books, and shall add on the books the names of persons, the value of personal property and the description and value of real estate liable to assessment which was omitted by the assessor. They shall correct all errors in the names of persons, in the description and valuation of property, and they shall cause to be done whatever else may be necessary to make the valuation comply with the provisions of this chapter. But in no case shall any question of classification or taxability be considered or reviewed.
If the commission determine that any property or interest is assessed at more or less than its true and actual value, it shall fix it at the true and actual value. But no assessment shall be increased without giving the property owner at least five days' notice, in writing, and signed by the president of the commission, of the intention to make the increase. Service upon the property owner shall be sufficient, or upon his agent or attorney in person, or if sent by registered mail to such property owner, his agent, or attorney, at the last known place of abode. If he be not found and have no known place of abode, then notice shall be given by publication thereof as a Class I legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code, and the publication area for such publication shall be the county. The date of the publication shall be at least five days prior to the increase. When it is desired to increase the entire valuation in any one district by a general increase, notice shall be given by publication thereof as a Class II-O legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code, and the publication area for such publication shall be the county. The date of the last publication shall be at least five days prior to the increase in valuation. When an increase is made, the same valuation shall not again be changed unless notice is again given as heretofore provided. The clerk of the county commission shall publish notice of the time, place and general purpose of the meeting as a Class II legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code, and the publication area for such publication shall be the county involved. The expense of publication shall be paid out of the county treasury.
If any person fails to apply for relief at this meeting, he shall have waived his right to ask for correction in his assessment list for the current year, and shall not thereafter be permitted to question the correctness of his list as finally fixed by the county commission, except on appeal to the circuit court. After the county commission completes the review and equalization of the property books, a majority of the commission shall sign a statement that it is the completed assessment of the county for the year; then the property books shall be delivered to the assessor and the levies extended as provided by law.
At any time after property is returned for taxation and up to and including the time the property books are before the county court for equalization and review, any taxpayer may apply to the assessor for information regarding the classification and taxability of his property. In case the taxpayer is dissatisfied with the classification of property assessed to him or believes that such property is exempt or otherwise not subject to taxation, he shall file his objections in writing with the assessor. The assessor shall decide the question by either sustaining the protest and making proper corrections, or by stating, in writing if requested, the reasons for his refusal. The assessor may, and if the taxpayer requests, the assessor shall, certify the question to the state tax commissioner in a statement sworn to by both parties, or if the parties are unable to agree, in separate sworn statements, giving a full description of the property and any other information which the tax commissioner may require.
The tax commissioner shall, as soon as possible on receipt of the question, but in no case later than February twenty-eighth of the assessment year, instruct the assessor as to how the property shall be treated. The instructions issued and forwarded by mail to the assessor shall be binding upon him, but either the assessor or the taxpayer may apply to the circuit court of the county for the review of the question of classification and taxability in the same fashion as is provided for appeals from the county court in section twenty-five of this article. The tax commissioner shall prescribe forms on which the aforesaid questions shall be certified and he shall have the authority to pursue any inquiry and procure any information which may be necessary for the disposition of the issue.
It shall be the duty of the county assessor and his deputies of each county within the state, at the time they are making assessment of the personal property within such county, to assess and collect a head tax of one dollar on each male or spayed female dog and of two dollars on each unspayed female dog; and in addition to the above, the assessor and his deputies shall have the further duty of collecting any such head tax on dogs as may be levied by the ordinances of each and every municipality within the county. In the event that the owner, keeper, or person having in his possession or allowing to remain on any premises under his control any dog above the age of six months, shall refuse or fail to pay such tax, when the same is assessed or within fifteen days thereafter, to the assessor or deputy assessor, then such assessor or deputy assessor shall certify such tax to the county dog warden; if there be no county dog warden he shall certify such tax to the county sheriff, who shall take charge of the dog for which the tax is delinquent and impound the same for a period of fifteen days, for which service he shall be allowed a fee of one dollar and fifty cents to be charged against such delinquent taxpayer in addition to the taxes herein provided for. In case the tax and impounding charge herein provided for shall not have been paid within the period of fifteen days, then the sheriff may sell the impounded dog and deduct the impounding charge and the delinquent tax from the amount received therefor, and return the balance, if any, to the delinquent taxpayer. Should the sheriff fail to sell the dog so impounded within the time specified herein, he shall kill such dog and dispose of its body.
At the same time as the head tax is assessed, the assessor and his deputies shall, on the forms prescribed under section four, article twenty, chapter nineteen of this code, take down the age, sex, color, character of hair (long or short) and breed (if known) and the name and address of the owner, keeper or harborer thereof. When the head tax, and extra charges, if any, are paid, the officer to whom payment is made shall issue a certificate of registration and a registration tag for such dog.
In addition to the assessment and registration above provided for, whenever a dog either is acquired or becomes six months of age after the assessment of the personal property of the owner, keeper or harborer thereof, the said owner, keeper or harborer of said dog shall, within ten days after the acquisition or maturation, register the said dog with the assessor, and pay the head tax thereon unless the prior owner, keeper or harborer paid the head tax.
All certificates of registration and registration tags issued pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be issued for the fiscal year and shall be valid from the date on which issued until the thirtieth day of June of that fiscal year, or until reissued by the assessor or his deputy in the regular performance of his duties, but in no case shall previous registration tags be valid after September thirtieth of the next ensuing fiscal year.
The assessor collecting the head tax on dogs shall be allowed a commission of ten percent upon all such taxes collected by him and shall turn in to the county treasurer ninety percent of such taxes so collected, as are levied by this section; and the assessor shall turn over to the treasurer or other proper officer of each and every municipality within the county ninety percent of such taxes levied by the ordinances of such municipality. All such dog taxes, except those belonging to municipalities, shall be accredited to the dog and kennel fund provided for in section ten, article twenty, chapter nineteen of this code. Such dog taxes as are collected for and turned over to municipalities shall be deposited by the proper officer of such municipality to such fund and shall be expended in such manner as the law of such municipality may provide. All taxes on dogs not collected by the assessor shall be collected by the regular tax collecting officer of the county and placed to the credit of the dog and kennel fund.