News & Updates
Understanding Your Assessment
Dear Property Owner,
There is no greater obligation of an assessor than to assess ALL property, honestly, accurately, and professionally. It is the primary responsibility of the office to find the fair market value of your property so that you pay only your fair share of the tax burden.
The Assessor’s Office has many other responsibilities, however. We keep track of ownership changes, maintain tax maps, keep descriptions of buildings and property characteristics up to date, and keep track of exemptions. We also analyze trends in sales prices, construction costs and the status of our Natural Resource Industries including coal, oil & gas, and timber.
Today, the assessed value of all property in Marshall County totals over $4 billion. Therefore, in order to serve you as effectively and efficiently as possible, we need your help. By submitting timely, accurate property returns and providing accurate information to deputies who visit your property, you help us better serve you.
My staff and I stand ready to address your concerns and hope this website will answer many of the questions you may have.
Assessor of Marshall County
ANNUAL ASSESSMENT AND APPLICATION DEADLINES
All property is assessed according to its value as of July 1
July 1 – September 1
Filing period for business personal property returns
Farm Discount Application period
July 1 – December 1
Filing period for High Mileage Discount and Homestead Exemption
July 1 – January 31
Period that the Assessor’s Office will accept individual personal property returns
Last Day for the Assessor to revise real and personal property assessments
February 1 – 28
Board of Review and Equalization meets
Annual tax bills mailed by the Sheriff’s Tax Office, where payments are made
Personal property assessments differ somewhat from real estate assessments. All persons must report to the Assessor all personal property owned as of July 1 of each year.
All forms, along with a return envelope and instructions, are mailed to every taxpayer prior to July 1 of each year. Once you receive the form, you may be assessed in the following ways:
- Complete the form and return it to the Assessor prior to December 1,
- While visiting the courthouse, report the info to Assessor’s Office personnel,
- Bring the form to any High Mileage Checkpoint held throughout the summer, or
- You can now complete a form online at the Assessor’s Office website, www.marcoassessor.org.
Discounts for vehicles with high mileage are available. Assessments are based on 6% of the lowest values listed in the N.A.D.A. Used Car Guide.
By being assessed for your vehicles each year, you will avoid late penalties and interest, be eligible for the 2 ½% discount, and reduce the time it takes to renew your vehicle registration each year.
To help fund their operations, the local School Board, County Commission, and each City Council annually set the property tax rates, which are called Levy Rates.
Your annual property tax bill is determined by multiplying the Levy Rate against your Assessed Value.
Assessed Value x Levy Rate = Tax Bill
If property values rise or remain stable but Levy Rates are reduced by the County Commission and Board of Education, property tax bills do not have to rise and can even be reduced for the majority of county residents.
Approximately 74 cents of every dollar paid on your tax bill each year goes to the Board of Education, 18 cents go to the County Commission, and 8 cents to the Cities.
The Assessor’s Office analyzes the real estate market and collects information about each parcel of property to estimate value.
The goal of the Assessor’s Office is to estimate each property’s Fair, Current Market Value- the price your property could sell for today on the open market. The assessed value is 60% of the property’s current market value.
To estimate current market value, the Assessor’s Office considers the characteristics of the property and the neighborhood, recent sales of the similar property, and local building and construction costs.
A property’s value can change for many reasons, the most obvious is the property changes – an addition or a new garage is built, or the property undergoes a renovation or demolition.
Another cause of change is a Change in the Market – properties in certain neighborhoods begin selling for higher prices.
In 1990, the West Virginia Legislature ordered a statewide reappraisal of all property in West Virginia. The appraisal process occurs in three-year cycles. This means that the Assessor’s Office must visit every piece of real estate once every three years to confirm and update the characteristics of the property.
While physical changes to a home may not have occurred, state law requires that the Assessor’s Office must still maintain property values that are at least 90% of the recent sales prices. A quick method to determine if you value is fair is to compare it to sale prices that have occurred in your neighborhood, taking into account various differences in the structures.
Due to the extraordinary economic growth the County has seen with the gas industry, sales prices are volatile causing % changes to assessed values to vary yearly.
If you are 65 years of age or older, or if you are permanently and totally disabled, you may be eligible for the Homestead Property Tax Exemption.
The Homestead allows up to $20,000 to be deducted from the assessed value of the home used as your primary residence. To claim the exemption, you must file an application with the Assessor between July 1 and December 1.
The Homestead Exemption saves senior citizens in Marshall County over $1 million annually.
The Farm Discount allows for a reduction in the assessed value of qualified farmland. You must own more than 5 acres of land with at least $1,000 of agricultural production. This includes breeding/managing livestock, planting and harvesting crops, home gardens, hay, fruit, berry trees, and timber for home heating/fencing. You must file an application between July 1 and September 1 each year.
APPEALING YOUR PROPERTY’S VALUE
An assessment appeal is not a complaint about higher taxes. It is an attempt to prove that your property’s estimated current market value is not accurate.
You can ask for a review of your assessment by the Assessor’s Office at any time during the year if you believe that items that affect the value are listed on your record card incorrectly – you have one bath, not two; you have a carport, not a garage.
You can also request a review if the estimated market value is too high, and you have evidence that similar properties have sold for less than the estimated market value of your property.
If you are not satisfied with the Assessor’s Office review, you then have the opportunity to appear before the Board of Review and Equalization during the month of February of each year.
You must be able to present clear evidence to the Board that the value is incorrect. The Board is only concerned whether the value placed on your property is fair and accurate, not whether or not you think your taxes are too high.
After the Board of Review adjourns sometime in February, no changes in assessments can be made until the following tax year.