HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 11
(By Delegates Fleischauer, Guthrie, Marshall, Poore, Morgan,
Armstead, Lane, Overington and Espinosa)
[Introduced February 13, 2013; referred to the Committee on
Constitutional Revision then Finance.]
Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the State of West
Virginia, amending article X thereof by adding thereto a new
section, designated section one-d, relating to the homestead
exemption; authorizing an alternative amount or method of
calculating the homestead exemption under certain
circumstances; authorizing a surviving spouse to qualify for
a homestead exemption under certain circumstances; designating
such proposed amendment; and providing a summarized statement
of the purpose of such proposed amendment.
Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia, two thirds of
the members elected to each house agreeing thereto:
That the question of ratification or rejection of an amendment
to the Constitution of the State of West Virginia be submitted to
the voters of the state at the next general election to be held in
the year 2014, which proposed amendment is that article X thereof
be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated section one-d, to read as follows:
ARTICLE X. TAXATION AND FINANCE.
§1d. Property tax limitation and homestead exemption amendment of
Subsection A - Increase in Homestead Exemption.
__Notwithstanding any other provision of the Constitution to the
contrary, the Legislature, upon the petition of a county, may
approve an increase in the amount of exemption from ad valorem
property taxation authorized in subsection C, section one-b of this
Constitution, to apply in such county, subject to the approval of
such increase by an election in the county, to an amount that is
not less than $20,000 and not greater than fifty percent of the
average appraised value of all real property and personal property
in the form of a mobile home used exclusively for residential
purposes in that county.
__The county commission, or a tribunal established for that
county in accordance with the provisions of section thirteen,
article IX of this constitution, of a county petitioning to
increase the amount of exemption pursuant to this section shall
first approve a petition containing any proposed increase in
exemption and submit such petition to the Legislature together with
its proposal of how to replace or address any associated reduction
in local, county and state tax revenues. A county may elect to propose an increase in exemption based on need and extended only to
owners whose total household income is at or below certain income
__The Legislature may reject, reform, alter or modify any
proposed increase in exemption. Upon approval of an increase in
exemption, the county commission shall cause an election to be held
to approve such increase. Upon approval by a majority of the
qualified voters of the county voting in such election, the
proposed increase in exemption will be effective July 1 of the year
following the election, unless such later date is approved by the
Legislature in its approval of the petition.
Subsection B - Eligibility of Surviving Spouse for Homestead
__If real or personal property which has qualified for the
exemption authorized by subsection C, section one-b of this article
or by subsection A of this section, is owned by a husband and wife
as joint tenants with the right of survivorship and the spouse who
qualifies for the exemption dies leaving a spouse who is under
sixty-five years of age and not totally and permanently disabled,
the surviving spouse is entitled to the exemption from ad valorem
property taxation provided in subsection C, section one-b of this
article or by subsection A of this section for such period as the
surviving spouse occupies the property as his or her residence and
the property is exclusively used for residential purposes.
Subsection C - Implementation.
__The Legislature has plenary power to provide by general law
for the application of this section.
Resolved further, That in accordance with the provisions of
article eleven, chapter three of the Code of West Virginia, 1931,
as amended, such proposed amendment is hereby numbered "Amendment
No. 1" and designated as the "Homestead Exemption Increase
Amendment" and the purpose of the proposed amendment is summarized
as follows: "The purpose of this amendment is to extend the
homestead exemption, under certain circumstances, after the death
of a qualifying spouse to a surviving spouse who is under
sixty-five years of age and not totally and permanently disabled;
and to allow each county the opportunity to increase the homestead
exemption from $20,000 up to an amount not to exceed fifty percent
of the average residential property value in the county, subject to
Legislative review and approval, and subject to approval by a
majority of the county's voters at an election."
NOTE: The purpose of this amendment relates to extending the
homestead exemption to a surviving spouse and to provide counties
the authority to increase the homestead exemption.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present Constitution and underscoring indicates new language
that would be added.