H. B. 2776
(By Delegates Trump, Staton and Willison)
[Introduced February 15, 1999; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact section two, article one-c, chapter
eleven of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred
thirty-one, as amended, relating generally to taxation of real
property, and amending the definitions used in the managed
timberland program to render ineligible for the managed
timberland tax preference, property which is part an approved
or exempted subdivision under a county planning ordinance and
also to exclude from managed timberland treatment real estate
which is restricted or zoned in a way that it cannot be used
for the commercial production of timber.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section two, article one-c, chapter eleven,of the code of
West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be
amended and reenacted, to read as follows:
ARTICLE 1C. FAIR AND EQUITABLE PROPERTY VALUATION.
For the purposes of this article, the following words shall
have the meanings hereafter ascribed to them unless the context
clearly indicates otherwise:
(a) "Timberland" means any surface real property except farm
woodlots of not less than ten contiguous acres which is primarily
in forest and which, in consideration of their size, has sufficient
numbers of commercially valuable species of trees to constitute at
least forty percent normal stocking of forest trees which are well
distributed over the growing site.
(b) "Managed timberland" means surface real property, except
farm woodlots, of not less than ten contiguous acres which is
devoted primarily to forest use and which, in consideration of
their size, has sufficient numbers of commercially valuable species
of trees to constitute at least forty percent normal stocking of
forest trees which are well distributed over the growing site, and
that is managed pursuant to a plan provided for in section ten of
this article. Provided, however, that none of the following may
be considered as managed timberland within the meaning of this
(1)any tract or parcel of real estate, regardless of its size,
which is part of any subdivision that is approved or exempted from
approval pursuant to the provisions of a planning ordinance adopted under the provisions of Article 24 or Chapter 8 of this code; or,
(2)any tract or parcel of real estate, regardless of its size,
which is subject to a deed restriction, deed covenant or zoning
regulation which limits the use of that real estate in a way that
precludes the commercial production and harvesting of timber upon
(c) "Tax commissioner", "commissioner" or "tax department"
means the state tax commissioner or a designee of the state tax
(d) "Valuation commission" or "commission" means the
commission created in section three of this article.
(e) "County board of education" or "board" means the duly
elected board of education of each county.
(f) "Farm woodlot" means that portion of a farm in timber but
may not include land used primarily for the growing of timber for
commercial purposes except that Christmas trees, or nursery stock
and woodland products, such as nuts or fruits harvested for human
consumption, shall be considered farm products and not timber
(g) "Owner" means the person who is possessed of the freehold,
whether in fee or for life. A person seized or entitled in fee
subject to a mortgage or deed of trust securing a debt or liability
is deemed the owner until the mortgagee or trust takes possession,
after which such mortgagee or trustee shall be deemed the owner. A person who has an equitable estate of freehold, or is a purchaser
of a freehold estate who is in possession before transfer of legal
title is also deemed the owner.
The definitions in subdivisions (f) and (g) of this section
shall apply to tax years beginning on or after the first day of
one thousand nine hundred ninety-nine two thousand.