Senate Bill No. 551
(By Senator Hall)
[Introduced February 18, 2011; referred to the Committee on the Judiciary; and then to the Committee on Finance.]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new article, designated §11-6L-1, §11-6L-2, §11-6L-3, §11-6L-4, §11-6L-5 and §11-6L-6, all relating to the method of valuation of certain mine safety equipment; providing definitions; providing methodology for valuation of certain mine safety equipment; stating that the initial determination of valuation is to be made by the county assessor; authorizing the protest and appeal of the assessor's decision; and providing effective date.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new article, designated §11-6L-1, §11-6L-2, §11-6L-3, §11-6L-4, §11-6L-5 and §11-6L-6, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 6L. VALUATION OF SPECIAL MINE SAFETY PROPERTY.
§11-6L-1. Short title.
This article shall be known and cited as the “Special Mine Safety Property Valuation Act”.
When used in this article, the term mine safety property means those items delineated in section fifty-five, article two, chapter twenty-two-a of this code, unless a different meaning is clearly required by the context in which it is used.
§11-6L-3. Valuation of special mine safety property.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the contrary, the value of special mine safety property, for the purpose of ad valorem property taxation under this chapter and under article X of the Constitution of the State of West Virginia, shall be its salvage value.
§11-6L-4. Initial determination by county assessor.
The assessor of the county in which a specific item of property is located shall determine, in writing, whether that specific item of property is special mine safety property subject to valuation in accordance with this article. Upon making a determination that a taxpayer has special mine safety property, the county assessor shall notify the Tax Commissioner of that determination and shall provide information as the Tax Commissioner requires relating to that determination.
§11-6L-5. Protest and appeal.
At any time after the property is returned for taxation, but prior to January 1 of the assessment year, any taxpayer may apply to the county assessor for information regarding the issue of whether any particular item or items of property constitute special mine safety property under this article which is subject to valuation in accordance with this article. If the taxpayer believes that some portion of the taxpayer's property is subject to the provisions of this article, and such property has not been determined to be so by the county assessor, the taxpayer may file objections in writing with the county assessor. The county assessor shall decide the matter by either sustaining the protest and making proper corrections or by stating, in writing if requested, the reasons for the county assessor's refusal. The county assessor may, and if the taxpayer requests, the county assessor shall, before January 1 of the assessment year, certify the question to the Tax Commissioner in a statement sworn to by both parties, or if the parties are unable to agree, in separate sworn statements. The sworn statement or statements shall contain a full description of the property and its uses and any other information the Tax Commissioner requires.
The Tax Commissioner shall, as soon as possible upon receipt of the question, but in no case later than February 28 of the assessment year, instruct the county assessor as to how the property shall be treated. The instructions issued and forwarded by mail to the county assessor are binding upon the county assessor, but either the county assessor or the taxpayer may apply to the circuit court of the county for review of the question of the applicability of this article to the property in the same fashion as is provided for appeals from the county commission in section twenty-five, article three of this chapter. The Tax Commissioner shall prescribe forms on which the questions under this section shall be certified and the Tax Commissioner has the authority to pursue any inquiry and procure any information which may be necessary for disposition of the matter.
§11-6L-6. Effective date.
This article shall be effective for assessment years commencing on and after July 1, 2011.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to ensure that mandated mine safety equipment is assessed at salvage value.
This article is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.