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Press Release: January 28, 2020

On Tuesday, Terry D. McDiffitt, Marshall County Assessor met with the Marshall County Commission, sitting as the Board of Equalization and Review and delivered the final 2020 property books. Handing over the books to the Board indicates that the assessed values, both real and personal, are now locked and the Assessor’s office can no longer make changes to the assessments.

 Anyone wishing to appeal their appraisals may do so by making an appointment to appear before the Board of Equalization. They meet as the Board on:

Friday, January 31, 2020

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Friday, February 7, 2020

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Friday, February 14, 2020

Tuesday, February 18, 2020 

The 2020 tax Bills will be mailed on August 1, 2020.

Mr. McDiffitt said there are many factors that determine increases and decreases in property values. 

Class II properties, (owner-occupied residential property), because of decreases in the real estate market in certain neighborhoods, 2,290 parcels (9.3%) of the county’s 24,550 total parcels should see a reduction on their 2020 tax bills. McDiffitt indicated that state law mandates that assessments throughout the county to be at a level of 90% to 110% of valid sale prices over the past twelve months.

Class III (real and personal property located outside the municipalities) has seen an increase in assessed value of approximately $300 million.  This increase in value is attributed to the oil, gas and mineral assessments and are established by the State Tax Department. 

Class IV property, (real and personal property as well as public utility property located within municipalities) increased to approximately $2 million dollars.  The majority of the increase is attributed to industrial activity within the county.

Our Office will be accepting personal property reports until the Board of Review adjourns in late February,” the Assessor stated.  Anyone who is not assessed for their vehicles by then will have to pay a supplemental bill plus interest when renewing their registration.  Therefore, I would strongly suggest that those who have not yet been assessed for their vehicles to do so in the next week to ten days.”

The county assessors, in West Virginia, are mandated to reappraise, over a three-year period, every property in their county. The Marshall County Assessor’s field personnel have been going out over the past year and visited approximately one third of the parcels for the 2020 tax year. Since taking office, Mr. McDiffitt’s field appraisers have discovered 565 parcels that reflected an increase in appraised value due to new construction in the past year or structures missed in past field work. These properties received a notification of an increase in value.

Approximately one million dollars’ worth of new homestead exemptions have been approved, for the benefit of our citizens sixty-five years old or older or the totally disabled, during the past nine months.

A total of 1832 parcels were approved for Farm Discounts for the tax year 2020. Five applicants were not approved due to filing after the last date allowed by the West Virginia Tax Department.

The Assessor indicated that the total taxable assessed value of real and personal property in Marshall County is 3 Billion, 350 million and 73 Thousand dollars.  He explained that this total represents an increase of approximately $302 million but does not include the value of public utility property, which is assessed by the State Board of Public Works.  He expects his office to be notified of those totals within the next two weeks.  Tax exempt property is not included in the current totals.  The majority of the $302 million was an increase of oil and gas royalty interests, and are assessed by the State Tax Department.  Additionally, the oil and gas company’s production assessment for 2020 has an increase of approximately $455 Million, which is assessed as personal property. 

Residential owner-occupied property saw a reduction in value for tax year 2020, this is due to changes and corrections that have been made in the real estate department in the Assessor’s Office.

Assessor McDiffitt Stated:

“Our philosophy is to be conservatively accurate within the guidelines of the law.  According to the latest sales ratio study provided by the State, Marshall County is right at the 90% benchmark,” Mr. McDiffitt said.  “Therefore, our assessments are at the lowest level allowed by law.  Certain properties, however, may have seen higher or lesser increases depending upon new construction, renovation, demolition associated with the home, or a substantial increase in sales prices being identified in certain neighborhoods.”

Our Office will be accepting personal property reports until the Board of Review adjourns in late February,” the Assessor stated.  Anyone who is not assessed for their vehicles by then will have to pay a supplemental bill plus interest when renewing their registration.  Therefore, I would strongly suggest that those who have not yet been assessed for their vehicles to do so in the next week to ten days.”

Assessor McDiffitt indicated that anyone wishing to appeal an assessment before the Board of Review should first contact the Assessor’s Office so that his appraisers can review the assessment in question.  If an adjustment is warranted, the Assessor’s Office will make a recommendation to the Board to adjust the assessment so that the taxpayer does not have to appear.  “We are prepared to defend our values, however,” the Assessor added.  “Taxpayers need to have clear, documented evidence that the assessment is not accurate.  This can include an independent appraisal, documentation showing that the characteristics of the house are listed in error, or evidence of recent sales of similar properties in the neighborhood.”