For an explanation of some basic information for real and personal property taxes, Click Here.
What does "tax class" mean?
All property is classified for the purposes of levies, as described in WV Code §11-8-5. There are four tax classes:
Class I: Not taxable as of January 2007.
Class II. All property owned, used and occupied by the owner
exclusively for residential purposes;
All farms, including land used for horticulture and grazing,
occupied and cultivated by their owners or bona fide tenants.
Class III. All real and personal property situated outside of
municipalities, exclusive of Classes I and II
Class IV. All real and personal property situated inside of
municipalities, exclusive of Classes I and II.
To view the tax levy rates, visit the "Forms" link, or click here.
What is the "assessment date"?
July 1st is the annual West Virginia assessment day for taxes to be paid the following calendar year. All property is valued as of July 1st of each year. The ownership on this day determines the tax obligation for the following year, and the use of the property on this day determines the tax class. The tax tickets you receive each July are based on the ownership and use of the property on July 1st of the previous year.
For example: When you receive a tax bill around the end of July in 2013, it is based on the ownership and use of the property on July 1st, 2012.
What is the difference between "real property" and "personal property"?
Real Property can be defined as consisting of all parcels of surface real estate, all buildings permanently affixed (when owned by the same owner as the land), and most mineral real property interests. For most citizens, this includes your house and any land you may own, and any mineral rights you may have under your land.
Personal Property is defined by WV Code §11-5-3 as "all fixtures attached to land, if not included in the
valuation of such land entered in the proper land book; all things
of value, moveable and tangible, which are the subjects of
ownership; all chattels real and personal; all notes, bonds, and
accounts receivable, stocks and all other intangible property."
Examples of tangible personal property include, but are not limited to, cars, trucks, inventory, furniture and fixtures (when used for profit), machinery and equipment, motorcycles, motorized golf carts, utility trailers, campers, above-ground swimming pools, boats, ATV's, and aircrafts.
When will I receive my annual tax bill?
Tax bills are usually mailed around July 15th of any given year, and you should receive them around the end of July or beginning of August every year. If you do not receive a tax bill, you may need to contact or visit our office to get yours (in the event your address has changed or you recently purchased property).
When are my taxes due?
Taxes are due to the Sheriff of Fayette County by April 30th of the year after you receive the tax bill. After April 30th, additional fees including a publication fee and interest are added to the tax bill. If taxes are not paid by October, the property will be auctioned at the annual delinquent tax property sale.
For example: You receive your tax bill around the end of July 2013. The payment is due by April 30, 2014 in order to prevent the additional fees from being added to the bill. If no payment is made by October 2014, the property is auctioned at the delinquent tax property sale.
If my address has changed, do I need to notify the Assessor's Office?
If you own personal or real property in Fayette County and your address has changed, you need to contact our office and ensure that we have the correct address on file for you so that you receive your annual tax bill. If you do not receive a tax bill around the end of July or August, it is a good idea to contact our office.
I am being charged taxes on a vehicle I no longer own. Why?
The answer depends on when you pay your taxes. Some pay the taxes when they are due (concurrent with the real estate taxes for any given year). For these cases, you pay on what you owned July 1st of the preceding year, even if you sold or traded it after that date.
Other folks pay their taxes when they need vehicle to renew their registration. In these cases, if your registration is due between May 1st of 2012 and July 1st of 2013, you will need a 2011 tax ticket, which is based on what you owned July 1st of 2010. If you registration is due between May 1st 2013 and July 1st 2014, then you will need a 2012 tax ticket, which is based on what you owned July 1st of 2011.
I did not change anything on my property this year. How can my value increase?
Your property value is based on sales in your area. You do not have to improve your property for the value to go up or down if the sales in the area indicate a change.
I am on the Homestead Exemption. Why do I still have to pay taxes?
The homestead exemption is only good for the first $20,000 of assessed value. If your property is assessed at $30,000, you will still have to pay taxes on $10,000.
I don't want to sign up for the Homestead Exemption because I was told that my heirs would have to pay back all the taxes after I pass away. Is this true?
No. The taxes that were exempt while you were on homestead exemption will not have to be paid after you pass away.
Why do the landowners with large amounts of property pay a lesser amount than the individual landowners pay?
There are two reasons for this. The first reason is that most of these land owners sign up for the managed timberland program, which allows the landowners to submit a plan for timber management and allows the State to value their land at a discounted rate. The second reason is that the coal and other minerals are valued by the State Tax Department. Mineral owners' property is valued based on the estimated amount of coal present and the future mine-ability of the coal. Minerals and timber are also taxed after they are harvested.
Why are taxes on my rental home higher than the house I live in? My home is much nicer than my rental home.
There are three different tax rates (See "What does tax class mean?" at this top of this list). Any property that you own, but do not occupy, is taxed at the Class 3 or 4 rate, which is higher than the owner-occupied rate.
I do not charge any rent for my second house. Why do I have to pay rental taxes?
Class 3 or 4 taxes do not mean that a property is rental property. It means that the property is NON owner-occupied. Any property that you own but do not live in will be taxed at this rate.