(a) The Legislature finds that it has, since January 1, 2007, consistently and annually imposed upon the county commissioners, sheriffs, county and circuit clerks, assessors and prosecuting attorneys in each county new and additional duties by the enactment of new provisions and amendments to this code. The new and additional duties imposed upon the aforesaid county officials by these enactments are such that they would justify the increases in compensation as provided in section four of this article, without violating the provisions of section thirty-eight, article VI of the Constitution of West Virginia.
(b) The Legislature further finds that there are, from time to time, additional duties imposed upon all county officials through the acts of the Congress of the United States and that such acts constitute new and additional duties for county officials and, as such, justify the increases in compensation as provided by section four of this article, without violating the provisions of section thirty-eight, article VI of the Constitution of West Virginia.
(c) The Legislature further finds that there is a direct correlation between the total assessed property valuations of a county on which the salary levels of the county commissioners, sheriffs, county and circuit clerks, assessors and prosecuting attorneys are based, and the new and additional duties that each of these officials is required to perform as they serve the best interests of their respective counties. Inasmuch as the reappraisal of the property valuations in each county has now been accomplished, the Legislature finds that a change in classification of counties by virtue of increased property valuations will occur on an infrequent basis. However, it is the further finding of the Legislature that when such change in classification of counties does occur, that new and additional programs, economic developments, requirements of public safety and the need for new services provided by county officials all increase, that the same constitute new and additional duties for county officials as their respective counties reach greater heights of economic development, as exemplified by the substantial increases in property valuations and, as such, justify the increases in compensation provided in section four of this article, without violating the provisions of section thirty-eight, article VI of the Constitution of West Virginia.
(d) The Legislature further finds and declares that the amendments enacted to this article are intended to modify the provisions of this article so as to cause the same to be in full compliance with the provisions of the Constitution of West Virginia and to be in full compliance with the decisions of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia.
(b) The Attorney General is hereby authorized and directed to establish such in-service training programs as in his or her opinion will do most to assist the prosecuting attorneys in the performance of their duties. The Attorney General is authorized to accept any federal aid which may be made available or any financial assistance which may be available from any private nonprofit organization for the purposes of this section. The prosecuting attorney in any county having a population in excess of two hundred thousand shall also discharge the additional duties imposed upon him or her by the provisions of section thirteen-a, article five, chapter forty-nine of this code.
(c) The State Auditor is hereby authorized and directed to establish such in-service training programs for county commissioners, county clerks, sheriffs and their assistants and employees as in his or her opinion will do most to modernize and improve the services of their respective offices. The State Auditor in conjunction with the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals is authorized and directed to establish such in-service training programs for circuit clerks and their assistants and employees. The State Tax Commissioner is authorized and directed to establish such in-service training programs for assessors and their assistants and employees. The State Tax Commissioner, State Auditor and the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals are authorized to accept any federal aid which may be made available or any financial assistance which may be available from any private nonprofit organization for the purpose of this article.
(d) Each of the county officials mentioned in this section, and, at is or her option, one or more of his or her assistants, deputies and employees, shall participate in the programs established under this section.
(e) The county commission is authorized and directed to expend funds for the purpose of reimbursing such officials and employees for the actual amount expended by them for food, lodging and registration while in attendance at authorized training for the purpose of this section.
Minimum Assessed Maximum Assessed
Valuation of Property Valuation of Property
Class All Classes All Classes
Class I $ 2,000,000,000 No Limit
Class II $ 1,500,000,000 $ 1,999,999,999
Class III $ 1,000,000,000 $ 1,499,999,999
Class IV $ 700,000,000 $ 999,999,999
Class V $ 600,000,000 $ 699,999,999
Class VI $ 500,000,000 $ 599,999,999
Class VII $ 400,000,000 $ 499,999,999
Class VIII $ 300,000,000 $ 399,999,999
Class IX $ 200,000,000 $ 299,999,999
Class X $-0- $ 199,999,999
(b) The assessed valuation of property, all classes, that shall be used as the base to determine the class of a county shall be the assessed valuation of property, all classes, of the county as certified by the county assessor, State Auditor and county clerk prior to March 29, 1996.
(c) Prior to March 29, 1998, and each second year thereafter, the county commission of each county, shall determine if the assessed valuation of property, all classes, of the county, as certified by the county assessor, State Auditor and county clerk is within the minimum and maximum limits of a class above or below the class in which the county then is. If the county commission so determines, it shall record the new classification of the county with the State Auditor and State Tax Commissioner and record its action on its county commission record.
(d) The classification of each county shall be subject to review by State Auditor. He or she shall determine if the classification of each county is correct based on the final assessed valuation of property, all classes, certified to him or her by the county assessor, State Auditor and county clerk. If he or she finds that a county is incorrectly classified, he or she shall notify the county commission of that county promptly of his or her finding and in any case shall notify the county prior to June 30 of that current fiscal year. Any county commission so notified shall correct its classification immediately and make any necessary corrections in the salaries of its elected county officials for the next fiscal year.
(e) Notwithstanding the provisions of this article, whenever any other provision of this code refers to classifications of counties for purposes of imposing any right, duty or responsibility, the classification system set forth in subsection (a) of this section shall be utilized for determining the classification of a particular county.
(1) The increased salaries to be paid to the county commissioners and the other elected county officials described in this section on and after July 1, 2014, are set out in subsections (5) and (7) of this section. Every county commissioner and elected county official in each county, whose term of office commenced prior to or on or after July 1, 2014, shall receive the same annual salary by virtue of legislative findings of extra duties as set forth in section one of this article.
(2) Before the increased salaries, as set out in subsections (5) and (7) of this section, are paid to the county commissioners and the elected county officials, the following requirements must be met:
(A) The Auditor has certified that the fiscal condition of the county, considering costs, revenues, liabilities and significant trends of the same; maintenance standards; and the commitment to the provision of county services has sufficiently improved over the previous fiscal years so that there exists an amount sufficient for the payment of the increase in the salaries set out in subsections (5) and (7) of this section and the related employment taxes: Provided, That the Auditor may not provide the certification for the payment of the increase in the salaries where any proposed annual county budget contains anticipated receipts which are unreasonably greater or lesser than that of the previous year. For purposes of this subsection, the term "receipts" does not include unencumbered fund balance or federal or state grants: Provided, however, That the Auditor shall not be held liable for relying upon information and data provided by a county commission in assessing the county's fiscal condition or a proposed annual county budget; and
(B) Each county commissioner or other elected official described in this section in office on the effective date of the increased salaries provided by this section who desires to receive the increased salary shall have prior to that date filed in the office of the clerk of the county commission his or her written request for the salary increase. The salary for the person who holds the office of county commissioner or other elected official described in this section who fails to file the written request as required by this paragraph shall be the salary for that office in effect immediately prior to the effective date of the increased salaries provided by this section until the person vacates the office or his or her term of office expires, whichever first occurs.
Any request for a salary increase shall use the following language:
I, [name of office holder], the duly elected [name of office] in and for the County of [name of county], West Virginia, do hereby request a salary increase pursuant to W. Va. Code §7-7-4, as amended. This salary increase is effective July 1, 2014.
[Signature of office holder]
(3) If the Auditor has failed to certify that there is an amount sufficient for the payment of the increase in the salaries and the related employment taxes pursuant to this section, then the salaries of that county's elected officials and commissioners shall remain at the level in effect at the time certification was sought.
(4) In any county having a tribunal in lieu of a county commission, the county commissioners of that county may be paid less than the minimum salary limits of the county commission for that particular class of the county.
(5) Prior to July 1, 2014:
After June 30, 2014:
Class I $41,395
Class II $40,656
Class III $39,917
Class IV $39,178
Class V $38,438
Class VI $31,786
Class VII $31,046
Class VIII $28,090
Class IX $27,350
Class X $22,176
(6) For the purpose of determining the salaries to be paid to the elected county officials of each county, the salaries for each county office by class, set out in subdivision (7) of this subsection, are established and shall be used by each county commission in determining the salaries of each of their county officials other than salaries of members of the county commission.
(7) Prior to July 1, 2014:
OTHER ELECTED OFFICIALS
Class I$44,880 $55,440 $55,440 $44,880$ 96,600
Class II$44,220$54,780 $54,780 $44,220 $ 94,400
Class III$43,890$53,460$53,460 $43,890 $ 92,200
Class IV$43,560$53,154 $53,154 $43,560 $ 90,000
Class V$43,230$52,800 $52,800 $43,230 $ 87,800
Class VI$42,900$49,500 $49,500 $42,900 $ 59,400
Class VII$42,570$48,840 $48,840 $42,570 $ 56,760
Class VIII$42,240$48,180 $48,180 $42,240 $ 54,120
Class IX$41,910$47,520 $47,520 $41,910 $ 50,160
Class X$38,280$42,240 $42,240 $38,280 $ 46,200
After June 30, 2014:
OTHER ELECTED OFFICIALS
SheriffClerk Clerk AssessorAttorney
Class I $50,266 $62,093 $62,093 $50,266 $108,192
Class II $49,526 $61,354 $61,354 $49,526 $105,728
Class III $49,157 $59,875 $59,875 $49,157 $103,264
Class IV $48,787 $59,532 $59,532 $48,787 $100,800
Class V $48,418 $59,136 $59,136 $48,418 $98,336
Class VI $48,048 $55,440 $55,440 $48,048 $66,528
Class VII $47,678 $54,701 $54,701 $47,678 $63,571
Class VIII $47,309 $53,962 $53,962 $47,309 $60,614
Class IX $46,939 $53,222 $53,222 $46,939 $56,179
Class X $42,874 $47,309 $47,309 $42,874 $51,744
(8) Any county clerk, circuit clerk, county assessor, prosecuting attorney or sheriff of a Class I through Class V county, inclusive, any assessor or any sheriff of a Class VI through Class IX county, inclusive, shall devote full time to his or her public duties to the exclusion of any other employment: Provided, That any public official whose term of office begins when his or her county's classification imposes no restriction on his or her outside activities may not be restricted on his or her outside activities during the remainder of the term for which he or she is elected.
Acts, 1996 Reg. Sess., Ch. 96.
Acts, 1996 Reg. Sess., Ch. 96.
To receive such additional compensation, the following duties are hereby imposed upon every assessor of this state:
(1) He shall annually complete a sales ratio analysis in a manner prescribed by the state tax commissioner.
(2) He shall present to the tax commissioner a list of real property transfers of the prior assessment year by December first annually.
(3) He shall on or before December first of each year supply a list of new construction and improvements exceeding one thousand dollars of the previous assessment year on forms prescribed by the state tax commissioner.
(4) He shall on or before December first of each year supply a list of new businesses added to the assessment rolls and businesses that have discontinued operations in the previous assessment year and been removed from the assessment rolls.
(5) He shall provide assistance to the tax commissioner to disseminate information with respect to the taxation, classification and valuation of nonutility and public utility property to the end that all property shall be more equally and uniformly assessed throughout the state.
(6) He shall annually assist the tax commissioner in determining the current use of such real property in his county as the tax commissioner may require to accomplish a uniform appraisal and assessment of real property.
The duties hereinbefore listed must be substantially completed by the assessor no later than the first day of November of each year, and each assessor shall certify to the tax commissioner that he has substantially completed such duties in accordance with requirements of the tax commissioner. If at this time there has been substantial completion of the above duties to the satisfaction of the tax commissioner, the tax commissioner shall, but no later than the fifteenth day of November of each year, certify to the county commission that the assessor has substantially performed these duties, and is entitled to the remuneration provided for in section six-b of this article.
The assessor collecting the assessment on breeding age sheep and goats shall be allowed a commission of ten percent upon all such taxes collected and shall send the Commissioner of Agriculture ninety percent of such taxes so collected, who shall deposit the same in a special account in the State Treasury to be known as the "Integrated Predation Management Fund." Expenditures from the Fund shall be for the purposes set forth in this section and are not authorized from collections but are to be made only in accordance with appropriation by the Legislature and in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twelve of this code and upon the fulfillment of the provisions set forth in article two, chapter eleven-b of this code: Provided, That for the fiscal year ending the thirtieth day of June, two thousand six, expenditures are authorized from collections rather than pursuant to an appropriation by the Legislature.
The money in the Fund shall be used by the Commissioner solely to enter into a cooperative service agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and Wildlife Services (WS) to expand the Coyote Control Program statewide.
Any person who does not pay this assessment is not eligible for the services provided by this cooperative agreement.
(b) The county clerk, circuit clerk, sheriff, county assessor and prosecuting attorney shall, prior to March 2 of each year, file with the county commission a detailed request for appropriations for anticipated or expected expenditures for their respective offices, including the compensation for their assistants, deputies and employees, for the ensuing fiscal year.
(c) The county commission shall, prior to March 29 of each year by order fix the total amount of money to be expended by the county for the ensuing fiscal year, which amount shall include the compensation of county assistants, deputies and employees. Each county commission shall enter its order upon its county commission record.
(d) The county clerk, circuit clerk, sheriff, county assessor and prosecuting attorney shall then fix the compensation of their assistants, deputies and employees based on the total amount of money designated for expenditure by their respective offices by the county commission and the amount expended shall not exceed the total expenditure designated by the county commission for each office.
(e) The county officials, in fixing the individual compensation of their assistants, deputies and employees and the county commission in fixing the total amount of money to be expended by the county, shall give due consideration to the duties, responsibilities and work required of the assistants, deputies and employees and their compensation shall be reasonable and proper.
(f) After the county commission has fixed the total amount of money to be expended by the county for the ensuing fiscal year and after each county official has fixed the compensation of each of his or her assistants, deputies and employees, as provided in this section, each county official shall file prior to June 30, with the clerk of the county commission, a budget statement for the ensuing fiscal year setting forth the name, or the position designation if then vacant, of each of his or her assistants, deputies and employees, the period of time for which each is employed, or to be employed if the position is then vacant, and his or her monthly or semimonthly compensation.
(g) All budget statements required to be filed by this section shall be verified by an affidavit by the county official making them. Among other things contained in the affidavit shall be the statement that the amounts shown in the budget statement are the amounts actually paid or intended to be paid to the assistants, deputies and employees without rebate, and without any agreement, understanding or expectation that any part thereof shall be repaid to him or her, and that, prior to the time the affidavit is made, nothing has been paid or promised him or her on that account, and that if he or she shall thereafter receive any money, or thing of value, on account thereof, he or she will account for and pay the same to the county. Until the statements required by this section have been filed, no allowance or payments shall be made to any county official or their assistants, deputies and employees.
(h) Each county official named in this section shall have the authority to discharge any of his or her assistants, deputies or employees by filing with the clerk of the county commission a discharge statement specifying the discharge action: Provided, That no deputy sheriff appointed pursuant to the provisions of article fourteen, chapter seven of this code, shall be discharged contrary to the provisions of that article.
If, in any case, the prosecuting attorney and his assistants are unable to act, or if in the opinion of the court it would be improper for him or his assistants to act, the court shall appoint some competent practicing attorney to act in that case. The court shall certify to the county commission the performance of that service when completed and recommend to the county commission a reasonable compensation for the attorney for his service, and the compensation, when allowed by the county commission, shall be paid out of the county treasury. No provision of this section shall be construed to prohibit the employment by any person of a practicing attorney to assist in the prosecution of any person or corporation charged with a crime.
The compensation to be paid to an assistant prosecuting attorney shall include compensation provided by law for any services he renders as attorney for any administrative board or officer of his county.
(b) The county commission, after the filing of the budget statement specified in section seven of this article, may, by order of record, authorize and order a draft on the county treasurer, payable out of the general county fund, to be drawn in favor of the county official, assistant, deputy or employee named in this statement, in payment of the compensation to which the person is entitled.
(c) The draft shall not be issued to the county official, assistant, deputy or employee until the proper county official has filed a detailed monthly or semimonthly statement with the county treasurer and has filed with the county clerk a duplicate copy of the monthly or semimonthly statement, together with a receipt from the county treasurer, showing that the person to be paid has paid into the county treasury all moneys belonging to the county that have been collected by him or her during that pay period as shown by the monthly or semimonthly statement.
Acts, 1971 Reg. Sess., Ch. 23.
(b) Every sheriff shall file monthly, under oath, an accurate account of all the actual and necessary expenses incurred by him or her, his or her deputies, assistants and employees in the performance and discharge of their official duties supported by verified accounts before reimbursement thereof shall be allowed by the county commission. Reimbursement, properly allowed, shall be made from the general county fund.
(a) (1) The sheriff of each county shall provide an item of personal body armor commonly known as a ballistic resistant vest to each of his or her deputy sheriffs, subject to the following:
(A) Each of his or her deputy sheriffs who is so employed on July 1, 2013 and who holds a valid law enforcement certification issued under article twenty-nine, chapter thirty of this code on that date, shall receive the vest on or within a reasonable time after July 1, 2013;
(B) Each of his or her deputy sheriffs who is so employed on July 1, 2013 and who is certifiable under the provisions of section five, article twenty-nine, chapter thirty of this code on that date, but who subsequently meets the requirements for certification under that section,shall receive the vest on or within a reasonable time after the date he or she is issued a valid law enforcement certification;
(C) Each of his or her deputy sheriffs who is so employed on a conditional basis on July 1, 2013 and who is not certified or certifiable under the provisions of section five, article twenty-nine, chapter thirty of this code on that date, but who subsequently meets the requirements for certification under that section, shall receive the vest on or within a reasonable time after the date he or she is issued a valid law enforcement certification;
(D) Each of his or her deputy sheriffs who is so employed after July 1, 2013 and who holds a valid law enforcement certification issued under article twenty-nine, chapter thirty of this code on the date of his or her employment, shall receive the vest on or within a reasonable time after July 1, 2013; or
(E) Each of his or her deputy sheriffs who is so employed after July 1, 2013, and who is certifiable as described in paragraph (B) of this subdivision on the date of employment, or who is not certified or certifiable on the date of employment as described in paragraph (C) of this subdivision on the date of conditional employment, but who subsequently meets the requirements for certification under section five, article twenty-nine, chapter thirty of this code, shall receive the vest on or within a reasonable time after the date he or she is issued a valid law enforcement certification.
(2) (A) A ballistic resistant vest or other personal body armor provided under this section or otherwise shall meet the minimum performance standards for the ballistic resistance of personal body armor established by Standards and Testing Program sponsored by the Office of Science and Technology of the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice on the date the personal body armor is provided.
(B) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section to the contrary, no body armor model determined to be unsuitable by the National Institute of Justice may be provided to any deputy sheriff under the provisions of this section.
(3) A sheriff is not required to provide a ballistic resistant vest or other model of personal body armor under this section to a deputy sheriff where:
(A) The sheriff had provided personal body armor meeting the standards established by this section prior to the date upon which the sheriff would otherwise be required to provide it under this section; or
(B) The deputy sheriff owns personal body armor meeting the standards established by this section on the date upon which the sheriff would otherwise be required to provide personal body armor under this section and and elects in writing to decline acceptance of the personal body armor that would be provided under this section.
(b) The county commission of each county shall expend from the general county fund, upon request and requisition by the sheriff of the county, the necessary and proper expenses of providing the personal body armor described in subsection (a) of this section.
(c) No provision of this section may be construed to prevent a county commission, in its discretion, from expending such funds as may be necessary and proper to provide additional ballistic resistant vests, ballistic resistance jackets or other models of personal body armor equipment for the use of the sheriff and his or her deputies, nor to in any manner limit a sheriff from incurring actual and necessary expenses in the discharge of his or her duties for any purpose specified under section thirteen of this article.
(b) Every county official shall file monthly, under oath, a full and accurate account of all the actual mileage driven by him or her, his or her deputies, assistants and employees, in the performance and discharge of their official duties supported by verified accounts before reimbursement thereof shall be allowed by the county commission. Reimbursement, properly allowed, shall be made from the general county fund.
Acts, 2008 Reg. Sess., Ch 32.
Acts, 1975 Reg. Sess., Ch. 126.
(1) That the retiring deputy is retiring honorably with at least twenty years of service; or
(2) The retiring deputy is retiring with less than twenty years of service based upon a determination that the deputy is totally physically disabled.
(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, a sheriff shall not award his or her service pistol to any retiring deputy medically determined to be mentally incapacitated or to constitute a danger to self or others.
(b) If, after the first day of January, two thousand nine, during the course of a term of office, pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, any prosecutor who becomes full-time or chooses to remain part-time who believes that the responsibilities of his or her office either no longer requires a full-time position or believes that the duties of the part-time position have become full-time, may, by mutual agreement with the county commission, either return to part-time status or change to full-time status: Provided, That, if the decision to change to full-time or part-time status is made during an election year, the decision must be by mutual agreement between the county commission and the prosecutor- elect: Provided, however, That any prosecutor who returns to part- time status shall, thereafter, be compensated at the rate of compensation set forth in section four of this article for a prosecuting attorney of his or her class county and any prosecutor that changes to full-time status shall, thereafter, be compensated at the same rate of compensation established for a prosecuting attorney in a Class V county.
(c) If, after the first day of January, two thousand nine, any prosecutor or prosecutor-elect desires to change to full-time status and the county commission objects to such change due to an alleged financial condition of the county, then either party may request the State Auditor's office to examine the county's financial condition and certify whether or not there are sufficient funds to support a full-time position. The State Auditor shall then, within ninety days of such request, certify whether or not there are sufficient funds available to support a full-time prosecutor in the county. If the State Auditor certifies that there are sufficient funds available, then the prosecutor or prosecutor elect must be changed to full-time status and be compensated at the same rate of pay as a prosecutor in a Class V county.
(b) At the same time as the head tax is assessed, the assessor and the assessor's deputies shall, on the forms prescribed under section four, article twenty, chapter nineteen of this code, take down the age, sex, color, character of hair (long or short) and breed (if known) and the name and address of the owner, keeper or harborer thereof. When the head tax, and extra charges, if any, are paid, the officer to whom payment is made shall issue a certificate of registration and a registration tag for such dog.
(c) In addition to the assessment and registration above provided for, whenever a dog either is acquired or becomes six months of age after the assessment of the personal property of the owner, keeper or harborer thereof, the said owner, keeper or harborer of said dog shall, within ten days after the acquisition or maturation, register the said dog with the assessor, and pay the head tax thereon unless the prior owner, keeper or harborer paid the head tax.
(d) All certificates of registration and registration tags issued pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be issued for the fiscal year and shall be valid from the date on which issued until June 30 of that fiscal year, or until reissued by the assessor or the assessor's deputy in the regular performance of his or her duties, but in no case shall previous registration tags be valid after September 30 of the next ensuing fiscal year.
(e) The assessor collecting the head tax on dogs shall be allowed a commission of ten percent upon all such taxes collected by the assessor and shall turn in to the county treasurer ninety percent of such taxes so collected, as are levied by this section; and the assessor shall turn over to the treasurer or other proper officer of each and every municipality within the county ninety percent of such taxes levied by the ordinances of such municipality. All such dog taxes, except those belonging to municipalities, shall be accredited to the dog and kennel fund provided for in section ten, article twenty, chapter nineteen of this code. Such dog taxes as are collected for and turned over to municipalities shall be deposited by the proper officer of such municipality to such fund and shall be expended in such manner as the law of such municipality may provide. All taxes on dogs not collected by the assessor shall be collected by the regular tax collecting officer of the county and placed to the credit of the dog and kennel fund.
(b) As used in subsection (a) of this section, "spend or obligate" includes, but is not limited to, increasing employee salaries to a level that would create a deficit in the budget if paid during the remainder of the fiscal year in addition to other anticipated expenditures.