Senate
House
Joint
Bill Status
WV Code
Audits/ Reports
Educational
Contact
home
home

Introduced Version House Joint Resolution 4 History

DOWNLOAD  wpd  |  Email


hjr4 intr
HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 4


(By Delegates Blair, J. Miller, Duke, Border, Canterbury, Ellem, Azinger, Evans, Romine, Anderson and Rowan)

[Introduced February 11, 2009; referred to the Committee on

Constitutional Revision then Finance.]





Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the State of West Virginia, amending sections one-b and seven, article ten thereof, all relating to taxation; providing for the limiting of the assessed valuation of and the levy rate upon 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, who is 65 years of age or older or is permanently and totally disabled and who is defined as a low income person; and limiting the amount an annual tax increase on 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; 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 sections one-b and seven, article ten thereof be amended to read as follows:
ARTICLE X. TAXATION AND FINANCE.
§1b. Property tax limitation and homestead exemption amendment of 1982.

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 60% 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 100% of such value.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, for July 1, 1982, and July 1 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 such purpose until and unless amended by the Legislature. Assessment and taxation in accord with this section shall be deemed to be equal and uniform for all purposes.
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 such 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) such other factors and methods as it may determine: Provided, That with respect to reappraisal of all property upon the base year of 1980, such reappraisals are deemed to be valid and in compliance with this section: Provided, 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 such statewide appraisal shall be completed, certified and published on or before March 31, 1985, 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 enforcement thereof.
Subsection C -- General Homestead Exemption.
(1) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Constitution to the contrary, the first $20,000.00 of assessed valuation 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 65 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 such requirements, limitations and conditions as shall be prescribed by general law.
(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Constitution to the contrary, the Legislature shall have the authority to provide by general law for an exemption from ad valorem property taxation in an amount not to exceed the first $20,000.00 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 65 years of age and not totally and permanently disabled: Provided, That upon enactment of such general law, this exemption shall only apply to such property in any county in which the property was appraised at its value as of January 1, 1980, or thereafter, as determined by the Legislature, and this exemption shall be phased in over such period of time not to exceed five years from the date such property was so appraised, or such longer time as the Legislature may determine by general law: Provided, however, That in no event shall any one person and his spouse, or one homestead be entitled to more than one exemption under these provisions: Provided further, That these provisions are subject to such requirements, limitations and conditions as shall be prescribed by general law.
(3) The Legislature shall have 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 -- Limitation on assessed value and levy

rate upon certain homestead exemption property.

Notwithstanding any other provision of this Constitution to the contrary, for property tax years that begin on or after January 1, 2010, the assessed valuation of and the tax levy rate upon property eligible for the homestead exemption provided in subdivision (1), subsection (c) of this section, which is owned by a low income person may not exceed the assessed valuation of, and the tax levy rate imposed upon, the property for the base tax year, subject to such requirements, limitations and conditions as may be prescribed by general law.
Improvements or additions to property made after the base tax year are exempt from the provisions of this subsection.
For purposes of this subsection:
"Base tax year" means the first tax year after the December 31, 2009 in which the property is eligible for the homestead exemption provided in subdivision (1), subsection (c) of this section as a result of its ownership by the taxpayer entitled to the relief provided in this subsection; and
"Low income person" means a person whose federal adjusted gross income for the year in which the property was assessed is 400% or less of the federal poverty guideline for the year in which property was assessed, based upon the number of individuals in the family unit residing in the homestead, as determined annually by the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Subsection D E -- 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 10 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 F -- 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 such 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 be approved by the required number of voters, impose such levy, subject however to all the limitations and requirements for the approval of such 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 extent of such 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 such 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 from such a statewide excess levy shall be deposited in the State Treasury and be allocated first for the local obligations assumed and thereafter for such 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 such proposed statewide excess levy for school purposes shall not in any way abrogate or impair any local existing excess levy for such purpose nor prevent the adoption of any future local excess levy for such purpose.
Subsection F G -- Implementation.
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 July 1, 1982, or thereafter.
§7. Duties of county authorities in assessing taxes.
(1) County authorities shall never assess taxes, in any one year, the aggregate of which shall exceed $0.95 per $100.00' valuation, except for the support of free schools; payment of indebtedness existing at the time of the adoption of this Constitution; and for the payment of any indebtedness with the interest thereon, created under the succeeding section, unless such assessment, with all questions involving the increase of such aggregate, shall have been submitted to the vote of the people of the county, and have received three-fifths of all the votes cast for and against it.
(2) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Constitution to the contrary, tax imposed on 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, may not be increased by more than 10% of the tax imposed on the property for the previous year: Provided, That in the following instances the property may be subject to a tax increase of greater than 10%:
(a) An ownership change or sale of the property, excluding any ownership changes to a surviving spouse under a right of survivorship;
(b) A newly constructed property;
(c) An existing property with additions or improvements completed since the previous tax year which significantly increase the appraised value; or
(d) A recent discovery by county officials of a piece of property with significant improvements, being taxed at a lower rate either by mistake, misrepresentation or otherwise.
The provisions of this subsection are subject to such requirements, limitations and conditions as may be prescribed by general law.
Resolved further, 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 "Property Tax Assessment Homestead Limitation Amendment," and the purpose of the proposed amendment is summarized as follows: "To provide for the limiting of the assessed valuation of real property and personal property in the form of a mobile home, used exclusively for residential purposes and occupied as a residence by a resident owner citizen who is over the age of 65 or who is permanently or totally disabled and who is defined as a low income person."

NOTE: The purpose of this resolution is to propose an amendment to the State Constitution that would provide for the limiting of the assessed valuation of, and the tax levy rate upon, real property and personal property in the form of a mobile home, used exclusively for residential purposes and occupied as a residence by a resident owner citizen who is over the age of 65 or who is permanently or totally disabled
(property subject to the current homestead exemption)and owned by a person whose income is less than 400% of the federal poverty level , to not exceed the assessed valuation and levy rate upon the property in the year the property became eligible for the homestead exemption, and to establish a 10% maximum tax increase on the aforementioned property per year.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present Constitution, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.
This Web site is maintained by the West Virginia Legislature's Office of Reference & Information.  |  Terms of Use  |   Web Administrator   |   © 2014 West Virginia Legislature ****