Real Estate Taxes
More than 46,000 tax bills are processed each year by the Sheriff’s Tax office. Annual tax bills showing the amount of tax that is due for the previous year are mailed to each owner around mid-year.
Real estate taxes are due semi-annually. Taxpayers earn a two-and-one-half percent (2-1/2%) discount if first-half taxes are paid by September 1 and and second half taxes are paid by March 1. A listing of delinquent taxes is published in the Spirit of Jefferson in May and September.
Payment of real estate taxes may be made in person or by mail. The office does not accept credit cards. All checks should include on their face the Tax Ticket Number on which payment is being made.
Non-payment of Real Estate Taxes
Property owners who are delinquent in payment of real estate taxes may find their properties listed for sale by the Sheriff, who is required to enforce collection. Owners may redeem properties sold at a Sheriff’s tax sale upon satisfaction of certain requirements. In 2022, a new law was passed by Legislature that placed the sale of delinquent properties in the hands of the WV State Auditor. Visit the Sheriff's Sales page for additional details.
Valuation is Determined by the County Assessor
Tax bills are based on assessments by the County Assessor's office. The Sheriff's Tax Office maintains public records showing assessment values on all real estate and personal property.
Personal Property Taxes
West Virginia residents, and non-residents, who own personal property located in West Virginia are required to pay personal property taxes, which are collected by the Office of the Sheriff. Taxes are payable semi-annually and are due on September 1 and March 1.
Common classes of personal property include motor vehicles, livestock, farm equipment, boats, and machinery.
Anyone taking up residence in West Virginia, or who maintains a residence or business in the state and maintains taxable personal property at that location, is required to have the property assessed by the County Assessor and to pay annual personal property tax.
Payment of personal property taxes is a requirement for renewal of motor vehicle licenses by the West Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. Delinquent personal property taxes accrue penalties. A listing of delinquent personal property is ran in the Spirit of Jefferson in May.
At least once every three years - and for some properties more often - the Jefferson County Assessor's office visits and, if necessary, revises the assessed value of real property in the county. Triennial reassessment is required by West Virginia law.
Real property in Jefferson County is taxed at a rate set by the County Commission. The Office of the Sheriff collects the taxes, but it has no role in the assessment process, nor does it set the tax rate.
Resident property owners in the county who have attained age 65 are entitled by law to a Homestead Exemption, which excludes the first $20,000 of value from taxation, thereby lowering the amount of tax assessed.
Taxpayers who believe their property is improperly assessed may challenge the assessment. Decisions regarding challenged assessments are made by the the County Commission sitting as the Board of Equalization.
Personal Property Assessments
The County Assessor also is responsible for assessing motor vehicles and other personal property. Payment of personal property taxes is required before the State of West Virginia will renew motor vehicle registrations.