2014 personal property, real estate assessments underway

The assessment of real and personal property in Upshur County has begun for tax year 2014. The assessed valuation and classification of all property is based on what was owned by the taxpayer on July 1, 2013.

The obligation to file an annual personal property assessment is prescribed in the West Virginia Code Chapter 11, Article 3, Section 1 through 30. The code also provides for appropriate penalties to those who fail to file an assessment in a timely manner.

The law requires that every person owning personal property on July 1 shall file a return. Personal property includes: intangible personal property, vehicles (in order to obtain license, your vehicle must be properly assessed and taxes paid; please provide vehicle identification numbers), campers, motorcycles, motor homes, boats, boat trailers, ATVs (include purchase price and VIN), mobile homes, cabins, any new construction or deletions and any building not owned by landowners.

– Dog taxes – The assessor is required by law to collect dog license fees. There is a flat fee of $3 on all dogs 6 months and older in rural districts and $6 in the city limits of Buckhannon.

– Homestead exemption – The $20,000 homestead exemption will apply to persons 64 years old or older on July 1 or to those totally and permanently disabled at any age with the proper documentation, which own and live in their home or mobile home. To be eligible for homestead exemption, an applicant must have been a resident of this state for two years prior to the effective date. The deadline for signing an application of homestead exemption for tax year 2014 is Dec. 1. Application cards are available at the assessor’s office.

– Farm use – Those land owners whose property has qualified for “farm use” must make application between July 1 and Sept. 1 each year to continue the qualification. We will mail blank applications to those who qualified for farm use for the 2013 tax year, along with a “West Virginia Crop Statistics Report” form. This combined form must be returned to the Upshur County Assessor’s Office by Sept. 1. The assessor, by law, cannot accept any applications for “farm use” after the Sept. 1 deadline.

– Managed timber – The annual Application for Certification as Managed Timberland must be submitted to the Division of Forestry by Sept. 1 of each year. Real estate owned must contain 10 contiguous wooded acres to qualify.

– Senate Bill 370 – This bill passed in March 2006 and became effective Jan. 1, 2007. The purpose is to exempt Class I personal property from being taxed. Class I includes all personal property employed exclusively in agriculture, farm machinery and equipment and all products of agriculture including livestock. With the passage of this bill, farm machinery and farm animals will no longer have to be reported on the assessment form.

Information on any of the above can be obtained by calling the Upshur County Assessor’s office at 304-472-4650 Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.