Wyoming County property owners who have not received their 2013 tax tickets — the “bill” for property taxes — should phone or stop by the county Tax Department, located in the county courthouse, according to Mike E. Cook, assessor.
Additionally, property owners should return a form listing the property they owned on July 1, 2012. This will be used for property tax “bills” next year, according to officials.
A 6 percent non-filing penalty is added to the tax ticket if property owners don’t return that form by Oct. 1, Cook explained.
Cook noted this is not a new penalty, but many property owners don’t realize there is a penalty for not returning the form on time.
“This will cost the county a little bit of money, but I want people to be aware of this penalty,” he emphasized.
“It will save tax payers 6 percent if they just return the form,” Cook added.
The form listing property owned on July 1, 2012 includes such items as mobile homes, vehicles, boats and trailers, aircraft, ATVs, campers, scooters, dozers, horses, dogs, among other property.
Also, Wyoming County residents who will be 65 years old or older prior to July 1, 2014, as well as those who are permanently and totally disabled, are eligible to apply for the homestead tax exemption prior to Dec. 1 in the assessor’s office in the courthouse.
Applicants must also have been, or will be, a resident of West Virginia for two consecutive calendar years prior to filing the claim.
Eligible homeowners will get a $20,000 exemption of the assessed value of their homes on next year’s property taxes, according to Cook.
On anything over the $20,000, the homeowner must pay the remaining taxes. However, most homeowners in the county will not go over that amount, Cook explained.
Assessed value is 60 percent of the appraised value. The appraised value is the true market value, as determined by the county tax assessor, of the property. It is the amount the owner could expect to be paid for the sale of the property.
Cook emphasized ownership of the property stays with the homeowner even if the exemption is approved.
He said some residents worry that when they use the exemption, the government gets the property when the homeowner dies. That is not the case, he emphasized.
Additionally, Cook noted, if someone who is receiving the exemption moves within the county, the assessor’s office should be notified.
The exemption applies only to the home in which the owner is living, Cook noted.
Applicants need to provide proof of age and residency when applying.
For those who qualify under the disability exemption, the award letter and a copy of the check or bank statement indicating the award has been paid are required at the time of the application.
Those who do not apply prior to Dec. 1 waive their right to the exemption for the 2014 tax year, according to Cook.
For more information, phone the tax department or the assessor’s office at 304-732-8000.