Under West Virginia Law (§7-1-3), County Commissions have the superintendence and administration of the fiscal affairs of their county. Governmental budgets in West Virginia must maintain a state of being balanced from their submission to the State Auditor’s Office through the end of each Fiscal Year, and this requirement covers both of the County’s major funds: General and Coal Severance.
The budget process begins each January when notices are delivered to each elected official, department head, and outside agencies. Budget submissions are due by the beginning of March, which is also when the Assessor completes the process of valuing all personal and real property in the county. The budget is determined and the levy rate is set by the Commission during the period between the 3rd and the 28th day of March. The budget (also known as the levy estimate) is forwarded to the State Auditor’s Office for approval, and following that, the Commission reconvenes on the 3rd Tuesday in April to officially lay the levy. This task entails a final approval of the levy rate, which dictates the property tax rate for all real property in the County.
With the levy rate approved, the State Auditor’s Office directs the Assessor to enter the property tax rate into the county property tax books. Once completed, these are turned over to the Sheriff of the County so property tax bills may be prepared and mailed. Individuals owning personal or real property in the county receive these bills, usually by the second week in July. West Virginia law permits a discount to be applied to tax bills which are paid ahead of time, the deadline for first half (or full) payment is at the end of August and the deadline for the second half payments is the end of March of the following year.
Unlike several neighboring states, West Virginia Counties use a levy system that generally guarantees a steady revenue from ad valorem taxes. When property assessments rise the levy rate automatically adjusts downward. If assessments fall the levy rate automatically rises. The process ensures that a County Commission may expect 101% of the previous year’s revenues from ad valorem taxes. In Jefferson County ad valorem revenues make up roughly half of the budget: the remaining revenues come from video lottery, building permits, property transfer tax, hotel occupancy tax, and a host of lesser taxes and fees.
- FY18 Budget Public Forum Information Sheet
- FY18 Budget Deliberations Schedule
- FY18 Budget Submissions
- FY 2013 Levy Calculation and Budget
- FY 2014 Levy Calculation and Budget
- FY 2015 Budget Summary and Narrative
- FY 2015 Levy Calculation and Budget
- FY 2016 Budget Summary and Narrative
- FY 2016 Levy Calculation and Budget
- FY 2017 Levy Calculation and Budget
- FY 2017 Budget Highlights