H. B. 4526
(By Delegates Cann, Martin, Michael,
Kominar, Beane, Campbell and Leach)
[Introduced February 14, 2000; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary then Finance.]
A BILL to amend and reenact section one-a, article one-c; to amend
and reenact section seven-a, article three; and to amend and
reenact section three, article five, all of chapter eleven of
the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred
thirty-one, as amended, all relating to the ad valorem
property taxation of chattel interests; and clarifying the law
retroactively that those interests in real and personal
property shall be assessed and taxed for ad valorem property
tax purposes as tangible personal property.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section one-a, article one-c; section seven-a, article
three; and section three, article five, all of chapter eleven of
the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 1C. FAIR AND EQUITABLE PROPERTY VALUATION.
§11-1C-1a. Further legislative findings and declarations; effect
of declarations and clarification of chattel
interests in real or tangible personal property.
(a) The Legislature hereby finds that:
(1) The voters of this state, in the general election held in
the year one thousand nine hundred eighty-four, ratified amendment
five to the constitution of West Virginia which essentially
provides that once the first statewide reappraisal of property
pursuant to section one-b, article ten of the constitution is
implemented and first employed to fix values for ad valorem
property tax purposes, no intangible personal property shall be
subject to ad valorem property taxation except as provided by
general law enacted after ratification of amendment five;
(2) In ratifying amendment five, the voters intended for
intangible personal property to become exempt from ad valorem
property tax at some point after ratification, except as provided
in general legislation enacted subsequent to ratification of
(3) Due to numerous problems, actual or perceived, with the results of the first statewide reappraisal under section one-b,
article ten of the constitution, and the public's lack of
confidence in those results, the first statewide reappraisal was
never implemented and results were never employed to fix values for
ad valorem property tax purposes;
(4) The Legislature responded to these problems, actual or
perceived, by enacting this article which, as its primary purpose,
resulted in the making of the second statewide reappraisal of
property for ad valorem property tax purposes, which now results in
all property being assessed and taxed at sixty percent of its
market value, except as otherwise provided by general law; and
(5) The intent and objective of the voters in causing the
first statewide reappraisal to be made under section one-b, article
ten of the constitution, has now been achieved, although not in the
manner originally intended by the voters when they ratified
amendment five, and that the will and objective of the people in
ratifying amendment five will unintentionally be circumvented
unless the Legislature acts to prevent such a result.
(b) The Legislature, therefore, does hereby declare that:
(1) It has the power and authority under the constitution and
these circumstances to implement amendment five;
(2) The provisions of amendment five shall be implemented
beginning tax year one thousand nine hundred ninety-eight and
thereafter, notwithstanding any other provision in this article
other than section one-b;
(3) Chattel interests in real or tangible personal property
are tangible property for ad valorem property tax purposes, which
shall be assessed and taxed in the levy classification in which
underlying real or tangible personal property is taxed for ad
valorem property tax purposes, notwithstanding any other provision
in this chapter; and
(4) The property of banks and savings and loans shall be
assessed and taxed like that of other corporations beginning tax
year one thousand nine hundred ninety-eight.
(c) The amendments to this section, to section seven-a of
article three of this chapter and to section three of article five
of this chapter made by the Legislature in the regular session, two
thousand, are intended to be declarative of the law as of the
original enactment of this section and shall be fully retroactive
ARTICLE 3. ASSESSMENTS GENERALLY.
§11-3-7a. Chattel interests in real and tangible personal
For ad valorem property tax purposes, chattel interests in
real property and chattel interest in tangible personal property
are hereby defined to be
an interest in real or interests in
tangible personal property and are to be assessed and taxed like
real or tangible personal property is taxed as such. As so
defined, chattel interest in real property and chattel interests in
tangible personal property are not intangible personal property for
ad valorem property tax purposes.
ARTICLE 5. ASSESSMENT OF PERSONAL PROPERTY.
The words "personal property," as used in this chapter
includes all fixtures attached to land, if not included in the
valuation of such land entered in the proper landbook; all things
of value, moveable and tangible, which are the subjects of
ownership; all chattels real and personal; all notes, bonds, and
accounts receivable, stocks and all other intangible property.
"Agriculture" means the cultivation of the soil, including the
planting and harvesting of crops and the breeding and management of
"Horticulture" means plant production of every character except forestry.
"Grazing" means the use of land for pasturage.
"Products of agriculture" means those things the existence of
which follows directly from the activity of agriculture,
horticulture or grazing, including dairy, poultry, bee and any
other similar products, whether in the natural form or processed as
an incident to the marketing of the raw material.
"Producer" means the person who is actually engaged in the
agriculture, horticulture and grazing which gives existence and
fruition to products of agriculture as distinguished from the
broker or middleman.
"Tax year" means the calendar year following the July first
assessment day or, in the case of a public service business
assessed pursuant to article six of this chapter, the calendar year
beginning on the January first assessment day.
"While owned by the producer" means while title is in the
producer as above defined.
"Employed exclusively" means that the preponderant and the
sole gainful use is for the designated purpose.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to clarify the Legislature's
intent that, for ad valorem property tax purposes, chattel
interests in real and tangible personal property are to be assessed
and taxed as tangible personal property.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would