Tax Department Begins Review
West Virginia State Tax Commissioner Christopher G. Morris has announced that property assessments will be reviewed in Wetzel County and 18 other counties during 2009.
The purpose of the study is to evaluate the quality of assessments in all of the state’s counties and will be subject to review each year for the next three years.
As part of the West Virginia State Tax Department’s Statewide Property Tax Equalization Study, independent appraisers will review property assessments on behalf of the State of West Virginia. These appraisers will be distinguished by an identification card, which includes a photograph of the individual appraiser and identifies the individual as a contractor of the state tax department.
Part of the appraisers’ duties will be to review land values and neighborhood boundaries, collect data, and sold vs. unsold properties. The appraisers also will perform an assessment/sales ratio study.
To validate sales, the appraisers will make phone calls or send questionnaires to the buyer, seller, or other person(s) with adequate knowledge of the sale. The appraisers’ questions will concern the actual sale. They will not ask for any personal information.
The appraisers will also conduct field work within the counties, observing or taking pictures of certain houses that are part of the equalization study. All field personnel and their vehicles are registered with the county sheriff’s office, local police departments, and county assessor’s office for the jurisdictions in which the assessments are being performed. If any property owner questions the validity of an appraiser, the property owner should contact the county assessor’s office.
Other nearby counties scheduled to be studied in 2009 are Ohio and Marshall. For additional information regarding the property assessment project, property owners can contact the state tax department at 304-558-3940.