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Introduced Version House Bill 2283 History

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hb2283 intr
H. B. 2283


(By Delegates Spencer, Hatfield, Webster and Brown)

[Introduced February 11, 2005; referred to the

Committee on the Judiciary then Finance.]





A BILL to amend and reenact §11-3-1 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to restricting increased assessments on real property to no more than five percent in any one year; and providing that if the increase is as much as fifteen percent for the year, it is to be phased in over a three-year period.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §11-3-1 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 3. ASSESSMENTS GENERALLY.

§11-3-1. Time and basis of assessments; true and actual value; default; reassessment; special assessors.

All property shall be assessed annually as of the first day of July at its true and actual value; that is to say, at the price for which such the property would sell if voluntarily offered for sale by the owner thereof, upon such terms as such the property, the value of which is sought to be ascertained, is usually sold, and not the price which might be realized if such the property were sold at a forced sale, except that the true and actual value of all property owned, used and occupied by the owner thereof exclusively for residential purposes shall be arrived at by giving primary, but not exclusive, consideration to the fair and reasonable amount of income which the same might be expected to earn, under normal conditions in the locality wherein situated, if rented: Provided, That the true and actual value of all farms used, occupied and cultivated by their owners or bona fide tenants shall be arrived at according to the fair and reasonable value of the property for the purpose for which it is actually used regardless of what the value of the property would be if used for some other purpose; and that the true and actual value shall be arrived at by giving consideration to the fair and reasonable income which the same might be expected to earn under normal conditions in the locality wherein situated, if rented: Provided, however, That nothing herein shall may alter the method of assessment of lands or minerals owned by domestic or foreign corporations: Provided further, That an assessment may not be increased more than five percent over the assessed value of the same property for the previous year. If the value is determined to be more than five percent and up to fifteen percent or more over the assessed value of the same property for the previous year, the increase in assessment must be phased in over a three-year period in equal increments for each year, the total of which for the three-year period may not exceed fifteen percent. The taxes upon all property shall must be paid by those who are the owners thereof on that day, whether it be is assessed to them or others. If at any time after the beginning of the assessment year, it be ascertained is concluded by the Tax Commissioner that the assessor, or any of his the assessor's deputies, is not complying with this provision or that he the assessor has failed, neglected or refused, or is failing, neglecting or refusing after five days' notice to list and assess all property therein at its true and actual value, the Tax Commissioner may order and direct a reassessment of any or all of the property in any county, district or municipality, where any assessor, or deputy, fails, neglects or refuses to assess the property in the manner herein provided. And, for the purpose of making such the assessment and correction of values, the Tax Commissioner may appoint one or more special assessors, as necessity may require, to make such the assessment in any such county, and any such special assessor or assessors, as the case may be, shall have has all the power and authority now vested by law in assessors, and the work of such the special assessor or assessors shall will be accepted and treated for all purposes by the county boards of review and equalization and the levying bodies, subject to any revisions of value on appeal, as the true and lawful assessment of that year as to all property valued by him the special assessor or them. The Tax Commissioner shall, with the approval of the board of public works, fix the compensation of all such special assessors as may be designated by him the Tax Commissioner, which, together with their actual expenses, shall be paid out of the county fund by the county commission of the county in which any such assessment is ordered, upon the receipt of a certificate of the Tax Commissioner filed with the clerk of the county commission showing the amounts due and to whom payable, after such the expenses have been audited by the county commission.
Any assessor who knowingly fails, neglects or refuses to assess all the property of his their county, as herein provided, shall be is guilty of malfeasance in office, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than one hundred nor more than five hundred dollars, or imprisoned in the county jail not less than three nor more than six months, or both in the discretion of the court fined and imprisoned, and upon conviction, shall be removed from office.


NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to restrict increased assessments on property to no more than 5 percent in any one year over the assessed value of the previous year; and that if the increase is 15% or more, it must be phased in over a three-year period with equal increments of increase for each year, up to a maximum total of 15% for the three-year period.

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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