Information About the Assessor's Office
The Assessor and his deputies are directed by West Virginia Constitution, Article
X, Section I, to determine the fair market value of all real and personal property
annually. The assessment date for all property is July 1 of each year. This means
that all assessments are to be based upon conditions as of July 1, with regard to
ownership, taxability, use, etc. The property taxes are for a calendar year but
are based on the facts as of July 1, of the previous year.
The Assessor does not set your property tax. Your tax bill is calculated by multiplying
the tax (levy) rate to the property's assessed value, which is normally 60% of market
value. The assessor determines your assessed value, and the board of education,
the county commission, municipalities and other levying bodies use these values
to determine their respective levy rate. Levy rate information may be obtained in
the Assessor's office or from this page on our site.
TYPES AND CLASSES OF PROPERTY
There are two major types or categories of property that are assessable for property
taxation purposes. These are real property and personal property. Real property
generally includes land and things attached to land, such as buildings etc. Personal
property generally includes things not fixed to land such as vehicles, animals,
tools, equipment, etc. Mobile homes or buildings on land owned by a person other
than the owner of the mobile home or building are considered personal property by
the assessor's office in accordance with the State guidelines.
Real or personal property may be owned by individuals, corporations, partnerships
or many other entities. All property must be classified into four classes for tax
Class I property is currently exempt from property taxation and was, prior to exemption,
taxed at the lowest levy rate. Class I property includes certain types of intangible
personal property and farm personal property. Real estate may not be classed in
the Class 1 property tax classification.
Class II property Includes all land owned, used, and occupied by the owner thereof,
exclusively for residential purposes including houses and mobile homes on land not
owned by the owner of the home, and also includes all farm land. Class II property
is taxed at double the rate that was applicable to Class I property prior to exemption.
All other property, exclusive of Class I and Class II property, is either Class
III or Class IV property. Such property is Class IV if it is located inside of an
incorporated municipality, and it is Class III property if is located outside of
an incorporated municipality. Hancock County Municipalities are Chester, New Cumberland,
and Weirton (Part of Weirton is in Brooke County). Class III and Class IV property
is taxed at double the rate of Class II property with Class IV property also being
subject to the prevailing municipal levy rate.
For those persons who have been or will be a resident of the State of West Virginia
for two or more consecutive years prior to the tax year for which the exemption
is sought, and who are 65 years of age or older or who are certified as being totally
and permanently disabled; an exemption of $20,000 from the assessed value of the
homestead is available. At the present levy rate this may result in a reduction
of property taxes by about $175 for the property in the county and about $210 for
property in Chester, New Cumberland, or Weirton. Persons applying for the homestead
exemption must make application for the exemption, between July 1 and December 1,
in the Office of the Assessor. If you are 64 years of age or older on or before
the July 1st, assessment date, you should apply for the homestead exemption in order
for you to receive the exemption on the next years taxes.
FEES COLLECTED BY THE ASSESSOR'S OFFICE
- Building Permit: $3.00
- Personal Property Mobile Home Decal: $2.00
Property Record Printout: $1.00 per page
- Dog License: $3.00 each
License: $10.00 (includes license for 5 dogs)
FARM USE VALUATION
Farm land eligible for farm valuation is appraised based upon the fair rental value
of the land and not fair market. This method typically produces a reduced value
for farm land. Persons applying for farm use valuation for the first time can do
so at the Assessor's between July 1 and September 1. Taxpayers approved for
farm use in the previous tax year will receive a form in the mail: in which case
they must complete and return the form to the Assessor's office on or before
PERSONAL PROPERTY RETURNS
All Hancock County residents are required by law to report in writing all taxable
property owned as of the first day of July each year. This report must be filed
between July 1st and October 1st each year. Failure to file a report will result
in difficulty renewing vehicle registrations and possible penalties.
The Assessor has your pre-printed assessment form mailed to you each assessment
season, providing you had filed the previous year. If you do not receive a form
in the mail, this indicates that you may not be up-to-date in filing your Personal
Property Return and you should contact our office for assistance.
Business Personal Property
As a business owner in the State of West Virginia, your business property is subject
to ad valorem taxes. Business personal property includes but is not limited to material
items such as motor vehicles, furniture, fixtures, machinery and equipment, tools,
dies, jigs, patterns, and stock in trade including inventories, supplies, materials
in process, and other similar items. This tax is based on personal property owned
by your business on July 1 of every year.
Business Personal Property Returns are due on or before October 1 each year. West
Virginia Code requires that we estimate personal property tax assessments for all
businesses that fail to file a return by October 1. Persons who fail to file or
file late forfeit all rights of appeal and are subject to possible penalties.
The Assessor's Office is responsible for the sale of dog tags and kennel licenses,
each dog over the age of six months is required to have an up to date tag which
costs $3. Kennel licenses are available for people in the business of raising or
boarding dogs. The fee for a kennel license is $10 and includes up to 5 tags. For
each additional dog the regular fee applies. The licenses can be purchased at the
office and some other locations. Please call the office for details (304) 564-3311