Anonymous asked in Business & FinanceRenting & Real Estate · 1 month ago

WV Real Estate Taxes First Time Home Owner?

I am about to close on a home in WV. I am a new first time home owner so I do not understand this odd situation. The home I am purchasing USED TO be a rental property. It is no longer a rental, has been vacant for over a month or two. 

When I looked at the taxes on this property in comparison to nearby homes, the taxes were listed as DOUBLE... I was told this is because it was (at some point) a rental. That's fine. You make $$ on it, you get taxed on it. Makes sense. 

BUT... this is where MY confusion comes in. I am going to buy the home and live in the home (alone). I am NOT in any way shape or form renting it. HOWEVER... they are making me pay the SAME amount of taxes as if it were being rented. I have been told I have to do this for an ENTIRE YEAR. 

My question is, why?? I think it's ridiculous and unfair. I don't mind paying taxes, that's normal and expected. But why should I pay DOUBLE taxes when I am not receiving any rental income. It is bizarre to me. Is there a special way for me to file my taxes to get that money back at the end of the year?? 

Sorry if this is a foolish and naive question, this is my first time purchasing a home and everything else makes sense, this is the only thing I can't make sense of and when I ask my realtor and or my lender, they basically just give me a talk off saying more or less "that's just the way it is". Normally I wouldn't make a fuss, but we're talking a difference of $100 a month. To ME, that's a big deal.

7 Answers

  • 1 month ago

    Almost all states have a board that reviews property taxes. Call your county and ask them if they are holding hearings. There may be a reason you are being charged so much, and there may only be a clerical error. But you have to contact your County officials to find out. And no, you can't get a refund on taxes you've paid if they are property taxes--but they may give you a credit for the following year. 

    And that's another thing:  maybe you're paying BACK taxes?  Property tax is not levied in current time--it's usually billed a half year to a full year behind. So that can be the reason here too. 

    Also--ask about discount programs for property tax. In Ohio, we have several programs that reduce property tax based on owner's income, age, or owner-occupancy. These are pretty universal programs which most states have. There may be others. Check your state and county websites for info. 

  • 1 month ago

    Appeal (strongly !) to the county commissioner.

  • 1 month ago

    Not from WV, but I think they must have a board that can reassess the house on an appeal. Your realtor should be able to advise you.

  • 1 month ago

    Contact the county tax assessor.  Normally you can get a homestead exemption and lower it, indicating you live in it.

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  • 1 month ago

    WHO told you this?  have you verified it?

  • 1 month ago

    I don't know the law in WV, but if that is the law then it sounds like you can pay the extra tax of cancel the sale, and those might be your only choices. Possibly you could demand that the seller pay the extra tax (give you a credit at closing), saying that this is essentially his fault. If he refuses to do this, however, then you are back to either paying it yourself or cancelling the sale. 

    Might be worth asking a real estate lawyer if there is some way around this, to appeal the tax bill or something. The lawyer consult might cost you a bit but maybe they would know how to get the taxes adjusted if that is possible. However, if they tell you that you can't do anything about this, then you are back to the inital choice - pay the extra, or cancel the contract.

  • 1 month ago

    why?  Because it's the law.There are lost of things unfair with homeownership.  Why do married couples get a $500,000 capital gains exemption when selling when a single person only gets $250,000 yet the single person had the exact same homeowner expenses.  And may have managed this on one income vs the married couple which had the potential to be two income.

    West Virginia assesses property values on as of July 1 for the full year.

    The taxes are due on Sept 1 and March 1. 

    The tax assessment and tax bill do not change during the year when a property changes hands.

    When you close on the property, you are going to reimburse the seller for taxes paid from closing to February 28.  You will be responsible for the taxes from March 1-August 31.

    If you are paying monthly, it sounds like you have an escrow account as part of your mortgage.

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