H. B. 2816
(By Delegates Craig, Morgan, Amores and Stalnaker)
January 31, 2003
; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary then Finance.]
A BILL to amend and reenact section two, article six-b, chapter
eleven of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred
thirty-one, as amended, relating to homestead property tax
exemption; and amending definition of term "used and occupied
exclusively for residential purposes".
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section two, article six-b, 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 6B. HOMESTEAD PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTION.
For purposes of this article, the term:
(1) "Assessed value" means the value of property as determined under article three of this chapter.
(2) "Claimant" means a person who is age sixty-five or older
or who is certified as being permanently and totally disabled, and
who owns a homestead that is used and occupied by the owner thereof
exclusively for residential purposes.
(3) "Homestead" means a single family residential house,
including a mobile or manufactured or modular home, and the land
surrounding such structure; or a mobile or manufactured or modular
home regardless of whether the land upon which such mobile or
manufactured or modular home is situated is owned or leased.
(4) "Owner" means the person who is possessed of the
homestead, whether in fee or for life. A person seized or entitled
in fee subject to a mortgage or deed of trust shall be
considered 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 shall also be deemed
considered the owner. Personal property mortgaged or pledged
shall, for the purpose of taxation, be deemed considered the
property of the party in possession.
(5) "Permanently and totally disabled" means a person who is
unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental condition which can
be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be
expected to last for a continuous period of not less than twelve
(6) "Sixty-five years of age or older" includes a person who
attains the age of sixty-five on or before the thirtieth day of
June following the July first assessment day.
(7) "Used and occupied exclusively for residential purposes"
that the property is used as an abode, dwelling or habitat
for more than six consecutive months of the calendar year prior to
the date of application by the owner thereof; and that the property
is used only as an a primary place of abode, dwelling or habitat by
the owner thereof on the July first assessment date to the
exclusion of any commercial use. Provided, That failure to satisfy
this six-month period shall not prevent allowance of a homestead
exemption to a former resident in accordance with section three of
(8) "Tax year" means the calendar year following the July
first assessment day.
(9) "Resident of this state" means an individual who is
domiciled in this state for more than six months of the calendar year.
NOTE: The purpose of the bill is to amend the definition of
"used and occupied exclusively for residential purposes" to clarify
that a homestead must be the primary place of abode of the owner on
the assessment date in order to be eligible for the ad valorem
property tax homestead exemption.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would