H. B. 2486
(By Delegates E. Nelson, Skaff, Reynolds, White,
Phillips, R., Armstead, Pasdon, Poore, Barrett, Storch and Cowles)
[Introduced February 15, 2013; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary then Finance.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §11-1C-9 of the Code of West Virginia,
1931, as amended; and to amend and reenact §11-3-1 of said
code, all relating to limiting the amount a property
reappraisal can increase over the previous amount.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §11-1C-9 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended,
be amended and reenacted; and that §11-3-1 of said code be amended
and reenacted, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 1C. FAIR AND EQUITABLE PROPERTY VALUATION.
§11-1C-9. Periodic valuations.
(a) After completion of the initial valuation required under
section seven of this article, each assessor shall maintain current
values on the real and personal property within the county. In
repeating three-year cycles, every parcel of real property shall be
visited by a member of the assessor's staff who has been trained
pursuant to section six of this article to determine if any changes have occurred which would affect the valuation for the property.
With this information and information such as sales ratio studies
provided by the Tax Commissioner, the assessor shall make
adjustments as are necessary to maintain accurate, current
valuations of all the real and personal property in the county and
shall adjust the assessments accordingly: Provided, That any
increases in valuations may not result in more than a ten percent
increase in assessment in any one year: Provided, however, That
this limitation does not apply when improvements made on the
property resulted in the increased assessment.
(b) In any year the assessed value of a property or species of
be is less than or exceed exceeds sixty percent of current
market value, the Tax Commissioner shall direct the assessor to
make the necessary adjustments: Provided, That any increases in
valuations may not result in more than a ten percent increase in
assessment in any one year: Provided, however, That this
limitation does not apply when improvements made on the property
resulted in the increased assessment. If any assessor fails to
comply with the provisions of this section, the Tax Commissioner
may, at the county commission's expense, take reasonable steps to
remedy the assessment deficiencies.
ARTICLE 3. PROPERTY TAX ASSESSMENTS GENERALLY.
§11-3-1. Time and basis of assessments; true and actual value; default; reassessment; special assessors; criminal
(a) All property, except public service businesses assessed
pursuant to article six of this chapter, shall be assessed annually
as of July 1 at sixty percent of its true and actual value, that is
to say, at the price for which the property would sell if
voluntarily offered for sale by the owner thereof, upon the terms
as the property, the value of which is sought to be ascertained, is
usually sold, and not the price which might be realized if the
property were sold at a forced sale: Provided, That an annual
assessment shall not increase the assessed value of the property by
more than ten percent of the previously assessed value: Provided,
however, That this limitation does not apply when improvements made
on the property resulted in the increased assessment.
(b) Any conflicting provisions of subsection (a) of this
section notwithstanding, the true and actual value of all property
owned, used and occupied by the owner thereof exclusively for
residential purposes shall be arrived at by also giving
consideration to the fair and reasonable amount of income which the
same might be expected to earn, under normal conditions in the
locality wherein situated, if rented: Provided, That the true and
actual value of all farms used, occupied and cultivated by their
owners or bona fide tenants shall be arrived at according to the
fair and reasonable value of the property for the purpose for which it is actually used regardless of what the value of the property
would be if used for some other purpose; and that the true and
actual value shall be arrived at by giving consideration to the
fair and reasonable income which the same might be expected to earn
under normal conditions in the locality wherein situated, if
rented: Provided, however, That nothing herein
shall alter alters
the method of assessment of lands or minerals owned by domestic or
(c) The taxes upon all property shall be paid by those who are
the owners thereof on the assessment date whether it be assessed to
them or others.
(d) If at any time after the beginning of the assessment year,
be is ascertained by the Tax Commissioner that the assessor, or
any of his or her deputies, is not complying with this provision or
that they have failed, neglected or refused, or is failing,
neglecting or refusing after five days notice to list and assess
all property therein at sixty percent of its true and actual value
as determined under this chapter, the Tax Commissioner may order
and direct a reassessment of any or all of the property in any
county, district or municipality, where any assessor, or deputy,
fails, neglects or refuses to assess the property in the manner
herein provided. And, For the purpose of making assessment and
correction of values, the Tax Commissioner may appoint one or more
special assessors, as necessity may require, to make assessment in any county and any such special assessor or assessors, as the case
may be, has the power and authority now vested by law in assessors,
and the work of such special assessor or assessors shall be
accepted and treated for all purposes by the county boards of
review and equalization and the levying bodies, subject to any
revisions of value on appeal, as the true and lawful assessment of
that year as to all property valued by him or her or them. The Tax
Commissioner shall fix the compensation of all special assessors
appointed, which, together with their actual expenses, shall be
paid out of the county fund by the county commission of the county
in which any such assessment is ordered, upon the receipt of a
certificate of the Tax Commissioner filed with the clerk of the
county commission showing the amounts due and to whom payable,
after such expenses have been audited by the county commission.
(e) Any assessor who knowingly fails, neglects or refuses to
assess all the property of his or her county, as herein provided,
shall be guilty of malfeasance in office and, upon conviction
thereof, shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $500, or
imprisoned confined in jail not less than three nor more than six
months, or both fined and confined, in the discretion of the court,
and upon conviction, shall be removed from office.
(f) For purposes of this chapter and chapter eleven-a of this
code, the following terms have the meanings ascribed to them in
this section unless the context in which the term is used clearly indicates that a different meaning is intended by the Legislature:
(1) "Assessment date" means July 1 of the year preceding the
(2) "Assessment year" means the twelve-month period that
begins on the assessment date.
(3) "Tax year" or "property tax year" means the next calendar
year that begins after the assessment date.
(4) "Taxpayer" means the owner and any other person in whose
name the taxes on the subject property are lawfully assessed.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to limit the amount that
property can increase in value at a reassessment to ten percent of
the previously assessed amount, provided that the increase in
assessment is not due to improvements made to the property.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would