H. B. 4526
(By Delegates Cann, Martin, Michael,
Kominar, Beane, Campbell and Leach)
(Originating in the House Committee on the Judiciary)
[February 25, 2000]
A BILL to amend and reenact section one-a, article one-c, chapter
eleven of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred
thirty-one, as amended; to amend and reenact section seven-a,
article three of said chapter; and to amend and reenact
section three, article five of said chapter, all relating to
the ad valorem property taxation of chattel interests; and
providing for the assessment and taxing of chattel interests
in both real and personal property as tangible personal
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section one-a, article one-c, chapter eleven of the code
of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended,
be amended and reenacted; that section seven-a, article three of
said chapter be amended and reenacted; and that section three,
article five of said chapter be amended and reenacted, all to read
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.
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
"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.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would