The Office of the Lincoln County Assessor is charged with appraising the value of all real and personal property owned by individuals and companies within Lincoln County. The appraised value is used to calculate the property taxes assessed on each parcel of property.
Real property includes land and all fixtures on the land. Personal property includes all valuable property other than real property, the most notable of which are motor vehicles. Other examples of personal property include equipment, boats, trailers, farm animals and even dogs. Dogs are taxed $3.00 each.
Once the Assessor sets the appraised value of each piece of taxable property, he calculates the Levy Rate. The Levy Rate is obtained from the several taxing authorities in the County, that is, the Lincoln County Commission, the Lincoln County Board of Education, the Town of Hamlin and the Town of West Hamlin.
The Assessor uses the Levy Rate to calculate the amount of taxes assessed to each property owner by multiplying the Levy Rate by the Assessed Value, and the product is the amount of taxes owed for that piece of property.
Each year, the Assessor compiles all of the Assessed Values and Tax Assessments for every piece of real and personal property in Lincoln County, arranged by magisterial district, in a document called the Land Book and the Personal Property Book. Copies of these two books are forwarded to the Sheriff and the County Clerk.
The Sheriff uses the information in the Land Book and the Personal Property Book to prepare tax statements, sometimes called tax tickets, to mail to every taxpayer in Lincoln County. The Sheriff also uses these books, as well as computers and other methods, to maintain records of all taxes paid to the County. The Sheriff collects the taxes as assessed by the Assessor.
The Office Deputies in the Assessor's Office not only meet the public and provide information, they also maintain the records of the Assessor, including preparing the Land Book and Personal Property Book each year.
Each time that the title to property changes, such as when someone sells a house, the Office Deputies obtain information about the sale to be used to prepare the books for the next tax year. These employees also attempt to correct any clerical errors that may exist in the Assessor's various records. For example, if you purchase a parcel of land and do not receive a tax statement the following July for the new parcel of land, you should report this to the Assessor and the staff will correct this error.
Each year, from July to November, pursuant to Chapter 11 of the West Virginia Code, the Assessor collects new information from every taxpayer on the personal property owned by every taxpayer. The Assessor mails a Lincoln County Personal Property Assessment Report to every known taxpayer in July each year. It is the taxpayer's responsibility to return this form to the Assessor prior to November 1, so that the Assessor can make correct and proper assessments for the following year. Use this form to report all of the motor vehicles and other personal property that you own, buy or sell.