Assessment forms due October 1, business forms September 1
Assessment forms have been mailed by the Morgan County Assessor’s Office to property owners who returned a form last year.
Anyone who owned vehicles. taxable personal property or business property in Morgan County on July 1 and does not receive an assessment form this week, should call the Assessor’s Office at 304-258-8570.
Assessor Ronald McIntire said it’s important that property owners return the forms or they could face of penalty of $25 to $100.
Business assessment forms are due by September 1, and personal property forms are due by October 1.
Information provided on this summer’s assessment forms will be the basis for the property tax bills that will go out in July, 2013.
The assessor’s staff will help people fill out the forms during regular courthouse hours.
This year’s dog fees may also be paid at the Assessor’s Office.
The assessor only values property for tax purposes and does not decide the tax rates, which are set each spring by the Morgan County School Board, Morgan County Commission, and the Bath and Paw Paw town councils.
In the real estate section of the assessment form, taxpayers should show whether their property is owner occupied, rented or unoccupied. If a property is rented, the renter’s name should be listed.
Those who rent and do not own their home should give their landlord’s name. Other real estate information will be taken from the most recent property appraisals and from records of who owned the property as of July 1, 2012.
Property owners should fill out the sections of the form about motor vehicles, all-terrain vehicles and other taxable personal and business property that they owned as of July 1.
Vehicles, like all other property in West Virginia, are assessed at 60% of market value. The Assessor’s Office bases the taxable value on current low Blue Book prices.
Vehicles are taxable if they have been in the state for more than 30 days. New residents are expected to register their vehicles within 30 days. Vehicles may be taxable even if they aren’t licensed in West Virginia, McIntire said.
In some cases, people on active military duty may be able to exempt a vehicle from property taxes. Contact the Assessor’s Office for details.
Dog owners should fill out the section about their pets and should send payment for dog tags as soon as possible. Fees were technically due July 1.
The dog fee is $3 per dog in unincorporated Morgan County, and $6 per dog within the town limits of Bath and Paw Paw.
Pet owners are also reminded that under West Virginia law, dogs and cats must be vaccinated against rabies.
Business owners must include the value of inventory, equipment and business fixtures on their assessment forms. The value of inventory is its market value, not the cost of materials, McIntire said.
Anyone with a state business license must file a business form by September 1, even if they have no taxable inventory or equipment.
Those who consign art work or other goods to shops are responsible for reporting it as their own inventory.
Older county residents may apply for the Homestead Exemption from part of the property tax on their residences.
The Homestead Exemption reduces the tax on homes of senior citizens and disabled people. More than $200 can be saved since $20,000 of a home’s assessed value is exempted from taxation.
To qualify for the Homestead Exemption on next summer’s tax bill, a homeowner must be at least 65 years old by June 30, 2013 or be disabled, and must have lived in West Virginia since at least July 1, 2011.
Application for the Homestead Exemption on next year’s taxes must be made to the Assessor’s Office by December 3.
Applications for farmland tax classification are due by September 1.
Farm classification significantly reduces the amount of property tax paid on land that is used for agricultural purposes. Having land classified as timberland also reduces the property taxes due.
Farm equipment and livestock are no longer taxable for those classified as farms.
Tax bills soon
The Morgan County Sheriff’s Department expects to mail this year’s property tax bills later this month. Those bills are based on the assessment forms returned last summer.