SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 9
(By Senators Unger, Snyder and Chafin)
[Introduced February 16, 2009; referred to the Committee on the
Judiciary; and then to the Committee on Finance.]
Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the State of West
Virginia, amending section one-b, article X thereof, relating
to homestead exemption increase; numbering and designating
such proposed amendment; and providing a summarized statement
of the purpose of such proposed amendment.
Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia, two thirds of
the members elected to each house agreeing thereto:
That the question of ratification or rejection of an amendment
to the Constitution of the State of West Virginia be submitted to
the voters of the state at the next general election to be held in
the year 2010, which proposed amendment is that section one-b,
article X thereof be amended, to read as follows:
ARTICLE X. TAXATION AND FINANCE
§ 1b. Property Tax Limitation and Homestead Exemption Amendment of
Ad valorem property taxation shall be in accordance with this section and other applicable provisions of this article not
inconsistent with this section.
Subsection A--Value; Rate of Assessment; Exceptions.
Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Constitution and
except as otherwise provided in this section, all property subject
to ad valorem taxation shall be assessed at sixty percent of its
value, as directed to be ascertained in this section, except that
the Legislature may from time to time, by general law agreed to by
two thirds of the members elected to each house, establish a higher
percentage for the purposes of this paragraph, which percentage
shall be uniform as to all classes of property defined in section
one of this article, but not more than one hundred percent of
Notwithstanding the foregoing, for the first day of July, one
thousand nine hundred eighty-two, and the first day of July of each
year thereafter until the values may be fixed as a result of the
first statewide reappraisal hereinafter required, assessments shall
be made under the provisions of current statutory law, which is
hereby validated for
purpose until and unless amended by
the Legislature. Assessment and taxation in accord with this
shall be deemed to be is
equal and uniform for all
Subsection B--Determination of Value.
The Legislature shall provide by general law for periodic statewide reappraisal of all property, which reappraisal shall be
related for all property to a specified base year which, as to each
reappraisal, shall be uniform for each appraisal for all
classes of property and all counties. In such law, the Legislature
shall provide for consideration of: (1) Trends in market values
over a fixed period of years prior to the base year; (2) the
location of the property; and (3)
other factors and methods as
it may determine.
With respect to reappraisal of
all property upon the base year of one thousand nine hundred
reappraisals are deemed to be valid and in compliance
with this section.
However, that with respect to farm
property, as defined from time to time by the Legislature by
general law, the determination of value shall be according to its
fair and reasonable value for farming purposes, as may be defined
by general law.
The results of each statewide appraisal shall upon completion
be certified and published and errors therein may be corrected, all
as provided by general law. The first
shall be completed, certified and published on or before the
thirty-first day of March, one thousand nine hundred eighty-five,
for use when directed by the Legislature.
The Legislature shall further prescribe by general law the
manner in which each statewide reappraisal shall be employed to
establish the value of the various separately assessed parcels or interests in parcels of real property and various items of personal
property subject to ad valorem property taxation, the methods by
which increases and reductions in value subsequent to the base year
of each statewide reappraisal shall be ascertained, and require the
Subsection C--General Homestead Exemption.
Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Constitution to
the contrary, the first
thousand dollars or thirty
of assessed valuation of any real property, whichever
amount is greater,
or of personal property in the form of a mobile
home, used exclusively for residential purposes and occupied by the
owner or one of the owners thereof as his or her
residence who is
a citizen of this state and who is sixty-five years of age or older
or is permanently and totally disabled as that term may be defined
by the Legislature, shall be exempt from ad valorem property
taxation, subject to
requirements, limitations and
conditions as shall be prescribed by general law.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this Constitution to
the contrary, the Legislature
shall have has
the authority to
provide by general law for an exemption from ad valorem property
taxation in an amount not to exceed the greater of the
thousand dollars or thirty percent
of value of any real
property, or of personal property in the form of a mobile home,
used exclusively for residential purposes and occupied by the owner or one of the owners thereof as his or her
residence who is a
citizen of this state, and who is under sixty-five years of age and
not totally and permanently disabled.
general law, this exemption shall only apply
property in any county in which the property was
appraised at its value as of the first day of January, one thousand
nine hundred eighty, or thereafter, as determined by the
Legislature, and this exemption shall be phased in over
period of time not to exceed five years from the date
property was so appraised, or such longer time as the Legislature
may determine by general law.
However, that in no event
shall any one person and his or her
spouse, or one homestead be
entitled to more than one exemption under these provisions.
Provided further , That In addition
these provisions are subject to
requirements, limitations and conditions as shall be
prescribed by general law.
shall have has
the authority to provide by
general law for property tax relief to citizens of this state who
are tenants of residential or farm property.
Subsection D--Additional Limitations on Value.
With respect to the first statewide reappraisal, pursuant to
this section, the resulting increase in value in each and every
parcel of land or interest therein and various items of personal
property subject to ad valorem property taxation over and above the previously assessed value shall be allocated over a period of ten
years in equal amounts annually.
The Legislature may by general law also provide for the
phasing in of any subsequent statewide reappraisal of property.
Subsection E--Levies for Free Schools.
In equalizing the support of free schools provided by state
and local taxes, the Legislature may require that the local school
districts levy all or any portion of the maximum levies allowed
under section one of this article which has been allocated to
local school districts.
Within the limits of the maximum levies permitted for excess
levies for schools or better schools in sections one and ten of
this article, the Legislature may, in lieu of the exercise of such
powers by the local school districts as heretofore provided, submit
to the voters, by general law, a statewide excess levy, and if it
approved by the required number of voters, impose
levy, subject however to all the limitations and requirements for
the approval of
levies as in the case of a district levy.
The law submitting the question to the voters shall provide, upon
approval of the levy by the voters, for the assumption of the
obligation of any local excess levies for schools then in force
theretofore authorized by the voters of a local taxing unit to the
excess levies imposed by the state and so as to
avoid double taxation of those local districts. The Legislature may also by general law reserve to the school districts
portions of the power to lay authorized excess levies as it may
deem appropriate to enable local school districts to provide
educational services which are not required to be furnished or
supported by the state. If a statewide excess levy for the support
of free schools is approved by the required majority, the revenue
a statewide excess levy shall be deposited in the State
Treasury and be allocated first for the local obligations assumed
and thereafter for
part of the state effort to support free
schools, by appropriation or as the law submitting the levy to the
voters shall require, as the case may be.
The defeat of any
proposed statewide excess levy for
not in any way abrogate or impair any
local existing excess levy for
purpose nor prevent the
adoption of any future local excess levy for
In the event of any inconsistency between any of the
provisions of this section and other provisions of this
Constitution, the provisions of this section shall prevail. The
Legislature shall have plenary power to provide by general law for
the equitable application of this article and, as to taxes to be
assessed prior to the first statewide reappraisal, to make such
laws retroactive to the first day of July, one thousand nine
hundred eighty-two or thereafter.
That in accordance with the provisions of
article eleven, chapter three of the Code of West Virginia, 1931,
as amended, such proposed amendment is hereby numbered "Amendment
No. 1" and designated as the "Homestead Exemption Increase
Amendment" and the purpose of the proposed amendment is summarized
as follows: "The purpose of this amendment is to increase the
homestead exemption from twenty thousand dollars to fifty thousand
dollars or thirty percent of assessed valuation, whichever amount
NOTE: The purpose of this resolution is to increase the
homestead exemption from $20,000 to $50,000 or 30% of assessed
valuation, whichever amount is greater.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present Constitution, and underscoring indicates new language
that would be added.