1. How does the assessor establish a value on my home or land?
The assessor’s office uses a system mandated by the West Virginia Tax Department which factors in such items as the condition of the home, square footage, number of baths, basements, second or third stories, type of heat or air conditioning, porches, outbuildings, garages, decks, pools, etc.
2. Why is my home/land valued so high?
If you take the assessed value (which is what you pay taxes on) and divide it by .60, you get your appraised value. Probably 90-plus percent of the time, the taxpayer would not take this amount for their property. Wyoming County property values are lower than our surrounding counties.
Historically, land values in the past have decreased, but in recent years, those values have tended to increase slightly.
That is due to two factors:
First, we have had 10 FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) disaster declarations since 2001. When this happens, available land becomes more and more scarce. Thus, your property becomes more valuable. In a county where the majority of land is classified as “managed timberland,” 68 percent, the availability of usable land is at a premium.
Second, when someone pays what you think is an excessive amount for a piece of property or home in your neighborhood, it naturally raises the value of your property. This is occurring quite often.
3. Why are my taxes increasing slightly from year-to-year?
The amount of taxes you pay is determined by the West Virginia Legislature, the Wyoming County Commission, the Wyoming County Board of Education, town of Mullens (if you live in Mullens), town of Oceana (if you live in Oceana), and town of Pineville (if you live in Pineville).
These governing bodies set the levy rate, or tax rate, based on their budget for the next year.
This number is not determined by the assessor. Just like with our personal finances, the state, county, and towns are faced with rising costs in items such as gas, insurance, worker’s compensation, etc., to name a few; thus, they require additional funding to provide you with the services you desire.
4. Where do my tax dollars go?
In Wyoming County, tax dollars are dispensed in the following manner:
Board of education gets 73 cents of every dollar you pay;
County government gets 23.5 cents of every dollar you pay;
State government gets one-half cent of every dollar you pay;
Town governments get one-half cent of every dollar you pay;
Valuation Department gets 1.5 cents of every dollar you pay.
The assessor’s office welcomes all inquiries concerning taxes. Feel free to come in or call 304-732-8000.
“We assure you of a prompt answer to all your tax questions,” Cook emphasized.