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SB198 SUB1 Senate Bill 198 History

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SB198 SUB1



COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE

FOR


Senate Bill No. 198

(By Senators Love and Hunter)

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[Originating in the Committee on the Judiciary;

reported February 28, 2003.]

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A BILL to amend and reenact section twenty-four, article three, chapter eleven of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to assessments; review and equalization by county commissions; and creating a rebuttable presumption that the assessed value of a property as determined by the assessor is correct.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section twenty-four, article three, chapter eleven of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 3. ASSESSMENTS GENERALLY.

§11-3-24. Review and equalization by county commission.

The No later than the first day of February of each year, the county commission shall annually, not later than the first day of February, meet for the purpose of reviewing and equalizing the assessment made by the assessor. It shall may not adjourn for longer than three days at a time until this work is completed and shall may
not remain in session for a longer period than twenty- eight days and shall may not adjourn sine die before the fifteenth day of February. At the first meeting, the assessor shall submit the property books for the current year, which shall be complete in every particular, except that the levies shall may not be extended. The assessor and his assistants shall attend and render every assistance possible in connection with the value of property assessed by them. The commission shall proceed to examine and review the property books and shall add on the books the names of persons, the value of personal property and the description and value of real estate liable to assessment which was omitted by the assessor. They shall correct all errors in the names of persons, in the description and valuation of property, and they shall cause to be done whatever else may be necessary to make the valuation comply with the provisions of this chapter. But in no case shall may any question of classification or taxability be considered or reviewed. If the commission determine that any property or interest is assessed at more or less than its true and actual value, it shall fix it at the true and actual value The assessed value determined to be correct by the assessor shall be presumed to be correct and may be changed by the county commission only through demonstration of clear and convincing evidence that the assessment is not correct. But no assessment shall may be increased without giving the property owner at least five days' notice, in writing and signed by the president of the commission, of the intention to make the increase. Service upon the property owner shall be sufficient, or upon his or her agent or attorney in person, or if sent by registered mail to such the property owner, his or her agent, or attorney, at the last known place of abode. If he or she be not found and have no known place of abode, then notice shall be given by publication thereof as a Class I legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty- nine of this code, and the publication area for such the publication shall be the county. The date of the publication shall be at least five days prior to the increase. When it is desired to increase the entire valuation in any one district by a general increase, notice shall be given by publication thereof as a Class II-0 legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code and the publication area for such the publication shall be the county. The date of the last publication shall be at least five days prior to the increase in valuation. When an increase is made, the same valuation shall may not again be changed unless notice is again given as heretofore provided.
The clerk of the county commission shall publish notice of the time, place and general purpose of the meeting as a Class II legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code and the publication area for such the
publication shall be the county involved. The expense of publication shall be paid out of the county treasury.
If any person fails to apply for relief at this meeting, he or she shall have waived his or her right to ask for correction in his or her assessment list for the current year and shall may
not thereafter be permitted to question the correctness of his or her list as finally fixed by the county commission, except on appeal to the circuit court. After the county commission completes the review and equalization of the property books, a majority of the commission shall sign a statement that it is the completed assessment of the county for the year; then the property books shall be delivered to the assessor and the levies extended as provided by law.

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(NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to create a presumption, during county commissions' review and equalization meetings, that the value of a property as assessed by the assessor is correct, except where there is clear and convincing evidence to the contrary.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.)
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