Since the Great Depression the West Virginia constitution and tax laws have been amended several times to provide expanding property tax relief to homeowners. These changes included the Homestead Tax Exemption Amendment, which the legislature placed before the voters in November 1973. The constitutional amendment, which was approved, exempted from property taxation up to the first $5,000 of taxable assessed value of an owner-occupied residential property when the owner was 65 or older. In 1980, the so-called homestead exemption was increased to $10,000, and it was expanded to include owners who are permanently and totally disabled and to apply the exemption to personal property in the form of mobile homes. The Property Tax Limitation and Homestead Exemption Amendment was approved by the voters in November 1982. This amendment increased the amount of the exemption to the present level of up to the first $20,000 of assessed value.
In 2001, the legislature approved an initiative allowing for a low-income person, who is entitled to a $20,000 homestead exemption, to claim an additional $10,000 credit on the personal income tax. The change was effective for property tax years that begin on or after January 1, 2003.
This Article was written by Jerry A. Knight
Last Revised on May 10, 2013
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