WEST virginia legislature
2019 regular session
House Bill 2523
By Delegates Harshbarger, Paynter, Cooper, Hanna, Bibby, D. Kelly and Mandt
[Introduced January 18,
to the Committee on Political Subdivisions then Finance.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §11-3-27 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to increasing the amount of time a taxpayer has to seek relief from a county commission from an erroneous assessment.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
ARTICLE 3. ASSESSMENTS GENERALLY.
§11-3-27. Relief in county commission from erroneous assessments.
(a) Any taxpayer, or the
prosecuting attorney or Tax Commissioner, upon behalf of the state, county and
districts, claiming to be aggrieved by any entry in the property books of the
county, including entries with respect to classification and taxability of
property, resulting from a clerical error or a mistake occasioned by an
unintentional or inadvertent act as distinguished from a mistake growing out of
negligence or the exercise of poor judgment, may, within
one year two
years from the time the property books are delivered to the sheriff or
within one year two years from the time such clerical error or
mistake is discovered or reasonably could have been discovered, apply for relief
to the county commission of the county in which such books are made out:
Provided, That upon the discovery of any such clerical error or mistake by
the sheriff or assessor, or either officer having knowledge thereof, the
sheriff or assessor shall initiate an application for relief from the erroneous
assessment on behalf of the taxpayer or cause notice to be sent to any taxpayer
affected by the clerical error or mistake by first-class United States mail
advising the taxpayer of the right to make application for relief from the
erroneous assessment. Before the application is heard, the taxpayer shall give
notice to the prosecuting attorney of the county, or the state shall give
notice to the taxpayer, as the case may be. The application, whether by the taxpayer
or the state, shall have precedence over all other business before the court;
but any order or judgment shall show that either the prosecuting attorney or
Tax Commissioner was present defending the interests of the state, county and
districts: Provided, however, That the provisions of this section shall
not be construed as giving county commissions jurisdiction to consider any
question involving the classification or taxability of property which has been
the subject matter of an appeal under the provisions of §11-3-24a of this code;
and any other such clerical error or mistake involving the classification or
taxability of property, may be corrected by the county commission under the
provisions of this section only when approved, in writing, by the county
(b) In the event it is
ascertained that the taxpayer is entitled to relief, any excess taxes already
paid shall be refunded and, if charged but not paid, the applicant shall be
released from the payment of such excess: Provided, That in the event a
mistake or error is discovered more than one year after the property books for
the year or years in question are delivered to the sheriff, any relief granted
to the taxpayer shall be in the form of a credit against taxes owing for up to
two three years: Provided, however, That if
there are insufficient future taxes to credit or if the sheriff or county
commission determines that a refund is appropriate, then the sheriff or county
commission shall refund the uncredited balance to the taxpayer.
(c) Whenever any correction is made by the county commission, the clerk shall certify copies of the order to the Auditor, sheriff and assessor, and in the case of real estate, the assessor shall thereupon make a correction in accordance with the order in his or her landbook for the next year. Any such order delivered to the sheriff or other collecting officer shall restrain him or her from collecting so much as is erroneously charged against the taxpayer, and, if already collected, shall compel him or her to refund the money if such officer has not already paid it into the treasury. In either case, when endorsed by the person exonerated, it shall be sufficient voucher to entitle the officer to a credit for so much in his or her settlement which he or she is required to make. If the applicant is the state, the order certified to the sheriff shall show the correct amount of taxes due the state, county and districts and shall be sufficient to authorize collection in the same manner as for other state, county and district taxes.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to increase the amount of time a taxpayer has to seek relief from a county commission from an erroneous assessment.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from a heading or the present law and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.