Senate Bill No. 265
(By Senators Tomblin, Mr. President, and Caruth,
By Request of the Executive)
[Introduced January 18, 2008; referred to the Committee on
Economic Development; and then to the Committee on Finance.]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by
adding thereto a new article, designated §11-6H-1, §11-6H-2,
§11-6H-3, §11-6H-4, §11-6H-5 and §11-6H-6, all relating to the
method of valuation of certain aircraft; providing
definitions; providing methodology for valuation of certain
aircraft; stating that the initial determination of valuation
is to be made by the county assessor; and authorizing the
protest and appeal of the assessor's decision.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended
by adding thereto a new article, designated §11-6H-1, §11-6H-2,
§11-6H-3, §11-6H-4, §11-6H-5 and §11-6H-6, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 6H. VALUATION OF SPECIAL AIRCRAFT PROPERTY.
§11-6H-1. Short title.
This article shall be known and cited as the "Special Aircraft Property Valuation Act."
(a) When used in this article, terms defined in subsection (b)
of this section have the meanings ascribed to them by this section,
unless a different meaning is clearly required by the context in
which the term is used.
(b) Terms defined. --
(1) "Aircraft" means a weight-carrying structure for
navigation of the air that is supported by the dynamic action of
the air against its surfaces, and includes, but is not limited to,
an airplane or helicopter. For the purposes of this article, the
term "aircraft" does not include dirigibles, balloons, kites,
rockets, gliders, ornithopters, fan wing vehicles, autogyros and
powered lift vehicles other than helicopters.
(2) "Airplane" means a fixed-wing aircraft heavier than air
that is driven by a propeller or by jet, turbojet, turbofan, ram
jet, pulse jet, scramjet or rocket engine and supported by the
dynamic reaction of air against its wings.
(3) "Commercial airline" means an air transportation system
used to transport people and tangible personal property for profit,
and includes carriers that operate with fixed routes and flight
schedules as well as charter carriers.
(4) "Helicopter" means an aircraft whose support in the air is
derived chiefly from the aerodynamic forces acting on one or more rotors turning about on substantially vertical axes.
(5) "Private carrier" means any firm, partnership, joint
venture, joint stock company, any public or private corporation,
cooperative, trust, business trust, or any other group or
combination acting as a unit that is engaged in a primary business
other than commercial air transportation, that operates an aircraft
for the transportation of employees or others for business
(6) "Salvage value" means the lower of fair market salvage
value or five percent of the original cost of the property.
(7) "Special aircraft property" means all aircraft owned or
leased by commercial airlines or private carriers.
§11-6H-3. Valuation of special aircraft property.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the
contrary, the value of special aircraft property, for the purpose
of ad valorem property taxation under this chapter and under
Article X of the Constitution of the State of West Virginia, shall
be its salvage value.
§11-6H-4. Initial determination by county assessor.
The assessor of the county in which a specific item of
property is located shall determine, in writing, whether that
specific item of property is special aircraft property subject to
valuation in accordance with this article. Upon making a
determination that a taxpayer has special aircraft property, the county assessor shall notify the Tax Commissioner of that
determination, and shall provide such information to the Tax
Commissioner as the Tax Commissioner may require relating to that
§11-6H-5. Protest and appeal.
At any time after the property is returned for taxation but
prior to the first day of January of the assessment year, any
taxpayer may apply to the county assessor for information regarding
the issue of whether any particular item or items of property
constitute special aircraft property under this article which
should be subject to valuation in accordance with this article. If
the taxpayer believes that some portion of the taxpayer's property
is subject to the provisions of this article, the taxpayer shall
file objections in writing with the county assessor. The county
assessor shall decide the matter by either sustaining the protest
and making proper corrections, or by stating, in writing if
requested, the reasons for the county assessor's refusal. The
county assessor may, and if the taxpayer requests, the county
assessor shall, before the first day of January of the assessment
year, certify the question to the Tax Commissioner in a statement
sworn to by both parties, or if the parties are unable to agree, in
separate sworn statements. The sworn statement or statements shall
contain a full description of the property and its uses and any
other information which the Tax Commissioner may require.
The Tax Commissioner shall, as soon as possible on receipt of
the question, but in no case later than the twenty-eighth day of
February of the assessment year, instruct the county assessor as to
how the property shall be treated. The instructions issued and
forwarded by mail to the county assessor are binding upon the
county assessor, but either the county assessor or the taxpayer may
apply to the circuit court of the county for review of the question
of the applicability of this article to the property in the same
fashion as is provided for appeals from the county commission in
section twenty-five, article three of this chapter. The Tax
Commissioner shall prescribe forms on which the questions under
this section shall be certified and the Tax Commissioner has the
authority to pursue any inquiry and procure any information which
may be necessary for disposition of the matter.
§11-6H-6. Effective date.
This article shall be effective for assessment years
commencing on and after the first day of July, two thousand nine.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to provide a methodology for
the valuation of all aircraft owned or leased by commercial
airlines, charter carriers, private carriers, private companies or
private firms, for property tax purposes.
This article is new; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.