Overview of West Virginia Taxes
West Virginia has some of the lowest property tax rates in the country. In fact, its average effective property tax rate of 0.59% is lower than all but seven other states.
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To calculate the exact amount of property tax you will owe requires your property's assessed value and the property tax rates based on your property's address. Please note that we can only estimate your property tax based on median property taxes in your area. There are typically multiple rates in a given area, because your state, county, local schools and emergency responders each receive funding partly through these taxes. In our calculator, we take your home value and multiply that by your county's effective property tax rate. This is equal to the median property tax paid as a percentage of the median home value in your county.
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Jennifer Mansfield, CPA, JD/LLM-Tax, is a Certified Public Accountant with more than 30 years of experience providing tax advice. SmartAsset’s tax expert has a degree in Accounting and Business/Management from the University of Wyoming, as well as both a Masters in Tax Laws and a Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center. Jennifer has mostly worked in public accounting firms, including Ernst & Young and Deloitte. She is passionate about helping provide people and businesses with valuable accounting and tax advice to allow them to prosper financially. Jennifer lives in Arizona and was recently named to the Greater Tucson Leadership Program.
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West Virginia Property Tax
Buying a home in the Blue Ridge Mountains? The Shenandoah Valley? If so, you’ll want to know about property taxes in the Mountaineer State. West Virginia has some of the lowest property tax rates in the country. Its average effective property tax rate of 0.59% is the eighth lowest rate in the U.S., as comes in at about half of the national average.
If you’re planning a move to West Virginia or considering refinancing, you’ll want to take a look at our West Virginia mortgage guide. It has mortgage rates and important information on mortgages in the Mountain State.
A financial advisor in West Virginia can help you understand how homeownership fits into your overall financial goals. Financial advisors can also help with investing and financial plans, including taxes, homeownership, retirement and more, to make sure you are preparing for the future.
How Property Taxes Work in West Virginia
You can pay property taxes in West Virginia in two annual installments, the first due by Sept. 1 and the second due by March 1. You will receive a 2.5% discount on each of the installments if you pay your taxes before the due date. Taxes paid at least a month late also accrue interest at the rate of 9% per year.
West Virginia’s property taxes are based on the assessed value of a property and the total tax rate that applies to the property. Assessed value is based on, but not equal to, the true value of the property. Homes are reappraised at least once every three years in West Virginia. The objective of the appraisal is to determine the full market value of the property – the price a seller would receive for it on the market.
Assessed value is equal to 60% of that appraised value. Assessed values are updated annually based on market data, and to incorporate improvements or changes made to the property. Homeowners must be notified if assessed value increases by more than $1,000 or 10% in a given year. This gives the homeowner a chance to appeal the assessor’s valuation.
West Virginia Property Tax Rates
Tax rates in West Virginia apply to assessed value. Counties, cities, school districts and other special tax districts can levy property taxes. The total tax rate for an individual property is the sum of those rates, which are expressed as cents per $100 in assessed value.
So, for example, let’s say you have a home with a market value of $100,000 and a tax rate of 80. Your assessed value would be $60,000 (60% of market value). You can then find your taxes by dividing assessed value by 100 and multiplying by the rate, 0.80. In this example, your annual taxes are $480.
To make it easier to compare tax rates in different areas, we use effective rates. The effective tax rate on property is the amount paid annually as a percentage of home value. The table below shows median home value, median annual property taxes and the average effective rate for each of West Virginia’s 55 counties.
|County||Median Home Value||Median Annual Property Tax Payment||Average Effective Property Tax Rate|
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Kanawha County lies along the Kanawha River in central West Virginia. It has a population of around 190,000, making it the largest county in West Virginia. The county’s largest city is Charleston, the state capital.
Property tax rates in Kanawha County are higher than the state average, though they're still low by national standards. The county’s average effective rate is 0.67%, and the median property tax payment is $741 a year.
Located in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia, along the border with Maryland, Berkeley County has some of the highest property taxes in the state. The median annual property tax homeowners in Berkeley County pay is $1,159, second highest in West Virginia. That is still far lower than the national median of $2,090, however.
Monongalia County sits along the Pennsylvania border in northern West Virginia. Its average effective property tax rate is 0.53%, which ranks in the bottom half of the state.
Situated along the Ohio River in the western region of the state, Cabell County has property taxes higher than the state average. Homeowners in the county pay a median annual property tax of $774, which is around $120 more than the state median.
With a population of about 86,000, Wood County is the fifth largest county in West Virginia. The average effective tax rate in Wood County is 0.62%. The median home value in the county is $115,100 and the median property tax bill that residents here pay is $712.
Raleigh County is located in southern West Virginia. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median home value in the county is $105,700, about 40% less than the national median.
Because of this, homeowners in the county generally pay low annual property taxes. The median annual property tax payment in Raleigh County is $606, and the average effective rate is 0.57%.
Harrison County is the seventh most populous county in West Virginia. It is named for Benjamin Harrison V, a former West Virginia governor and father of William Henry Harrison, the ninth U.S. president. Property taxes in Harrison County are slightly higher than the state average. The county’s average effective property tax rate is 0.63%.
The median property tax paid by homeowners in this southern West Virginia County is a mere $473 per year. That ranks as the 18th lowest annual property tax payment in the entire state.
Marion County is located southwest of Morgantown, in northern West Virginia. It has the second highest average property tax rate of any county in the state. The average effective property tax rate in Marion County is 0.70%. At that rate, a homeowner with a home worth $100,000 would pay $700 annually in property taxes.
While the average effective property tax rate of 0.58% in Putnam County is nearly equal to the state average, property taxes paid are somewhat higher. That’s because the typical home in Putnam County is worth more than the average home in the entire state. The county’s median home value is $157,700, compared with the state median of $111,600.
Places Receiving the Most Value for Their Property Taxes
SmartAsset’s interactive map highlights the places across the country where property tax dollars are being spent most effectively. Zoom between states and the national map to see the counties getting the biggest bang for their property tax buck.
Our study aims to find the places in the United States where people are getting the most value for their property tax dollars. To do this, we looked at property taxes paid, school rankings and the change in property values over a five-year period.
First, we used the number of households, median home value and average property tax rate to calculate a per capita property tax collected for each county.
As a way to measure the quality of schools, we analyzed the math and reading/language arts proficiencies for every school district in the country. We created an average score for each district by looking at the scores for every school in that district, weighting it to account for the number of students in each school. Within each state, we assigned every county a score between 1 and 10 (with 10 being the best) based on the average scores of the districts in each county.
Then, we calculated the change in property tax value in each county over a five-year period. Places where property values rose by the greatest amount indicated where consumers were motivated to buy homes, and a positive return on investment for homeowners in the community.
Finally, we calculated a property tax index, based on the criteria above. Counties with the highest scores were those where property tax dollars are going the furthest.