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Introduced Version Senate Bill 416 History

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Senate Bill No. 416

(By Senators Prezioso and Edgell)

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[Introduced January 22, 2014; referred to the Committee on Government Organization; and then to the Committee on Finance.]

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A BILL to amend and reenact §11-6K-4 and §11-6K-5 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, all relating to tentative appraisals of natural resources property by the Tax Commissioner for ad valorem property tax purposes; clarifying that notice requirements apply to all oil and natural gas property in production and reserve; and clarifying that informal review procedures do not apply to oil or natural gas property in production and reserve.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

    That §11-6K-4 and §11-6K-5 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:

ARTICLE 6K. ASSESSMENT OF INDUSTRIAL PROPERTY AND NATURAL RESOURCES PROPERTY.

§11-6K-4. Review of returns; procuring information for tentative appraisals; tentative appraisals by Tax Commissioner; and notification to taxpayers.

    (a) All returns delivered to the Tax Commissioner shall be examined by him or her, and if found insufficient in form, or in any respect defective, imperfect or not in compliance with law, he or she shall compel the person delivering the return to make it in proper and sufficient form in all respects as required by law.

    (b) If any owner, operator or producer fails to make a required return, the Tax Commissioner shall proceed to obtain the facts and information required to be furnished by the returns.

    (c) For the purposes of ascertaining the correctness of any return filed pursuant to this article or of valuing the property of any industrial taxpayer or natural resources property owner or operator, the Tax Commissioner may exercise all of the powers and authority granted to him or her by sections five-a, five-b and five-c, article ten of this chapter.

    (d) Using information provided on the returns and all other pertinent evidence, information and data he or she the Tax Commissioner has been able to procure, the Tax Commissioner shall annually value and make tentative appraisals of all industrial property and natural resources property as provided in section ten, article one-c of this chapter.

    (e)(1) On or before October 15 of the assessment year, the Tax Commissioner shall complete the preparation of tentative appraisals of all industrial property and natural resources property and shall notify the affected owner or operator affected thereby of the amount of the tentative appraisals: Provided, That in the case of oil-producing property, natural gas-producing gas property and managed timberland, the Tax Commissioner shall complete the preparation of tentative appraisals and notify the affected owner or operator by December 1 of the assessment year, and: Provided, further however, That no notification shall be required where the total increase in the aggregate amount of the tentative appraisals to the affected owner or operator affected thereby does not exceed $1,000 and the total tentative appraisals did not increase by more than ten percent from the prior year’s appraisals. Notification may, at the reasonable discretion of the Tax Commissioner, be:

    (1)(A) By written notice deposited in the United States mail, addressed to the owner or operator at the principal office or place of business of the owner or operator;

    (2)(B) By electronic notification; or

    (3)(C) By any other means designed to communicate the tentative appraisal information to the owner or operator in a timely and efficient manner and in a convenient useable form.

    (2) Any notice required to be provided under this section to an owner or operator shall also be provided by the Tax Commissioner to the assessor of the county in which the property is located. The Tax Commissioner shall retain in his or her office true copies of tentative appraisals and of the underlying work sheets used to compute the tentative appraisals, all of which shall be available for inspection by any owner or operator or his or her duly authorized representative.

§11-6K-5. Informal petition to Tax Commissioner for review of tentative appraisals.

    (a) A taxpayer who is of the opinion that the tentative appraisal of its industrial property or natural resources property, except oil-producing oil property, natural gas-producing gas property and managed timberland, does not reflect the true and actual value of the property or is otherwise improperly valued may, after receiving its tentative appraisal and on or before November 15 of the assessment year, informally petition the Tax Commissioner requesting a review of the tentative appraisal. Likewise, an assessor who is of the opinion that the tentative appraisal of any industrial property or natural resources property, except oil-producing oil property, natural gas-producing gas property and managed timberland, located in the county does not reflect the true and actual value of the property or is otherwise improperly valued may, after receiving the tentative appraisal and on or before November 15 of the assessment year, informally petition the Tax Commissioner requesting a review of the tentative appraisal. The Tax Commissioner may require the petition be made on a written form prescribed by the Tax Commissioner. At the time a petition is filed by a taxpayer with the Tax Commissioner, the petitioner shall provide a copy of the petition to the assessor of the county in which the property is located. At the time a petition is filed by an assessor with the Tax Commissioner, the petitioner shall provide a copy of the petition to the taxpayer involved.

    (b) At the petitioner's request, the Tax Commissioner or his or her representative shall meet with the petitioner or the petitioner’s representative to discuss the petition at a time and place designated at least five working days in advance by the Tax Commissioner after the petition is filed. If the petitioner is unable to appear and meet with the Tax Commissioner at the time and place set by the Tax Commissioner, the petitioner may submit written evidence to support the petition if it is submitted before the date of the meeting.

    (c) The Tax Commissioner shall consider and rule on each informal petition filed under this section on or before January 15 of the tax year. If the Tax Commissioner agrees with the petition he or she shall modify the tentative appraisal accordingly. The Tax Commissioner shall then notify the petitioner and assessor of the county in which the property is located in writing of his or her decision and shall include supporting data that the assessor might need to evaluate the appraisal.




    NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to clarify that the provisions of code sections §11-6K-4 and §116K-5 apply to both oil and natural gas properties and reserve oil and natural gas property.


    Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.

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