Upshur County Assessor Dustin Zickefoose

Punctual payments pay off: West Virginia taxpayers can cash in on new law

BUCKHANNON – West Virginia residents can now receive refundable personal income tax credits if they file and pay their personal property taxes on time.

Upshur County Assessor Dustin Zickefoose recently sat down with My Buckhannon to explain that the key to receiving those refundable income tax credits is filing and paying in a timely fashion.  

As the period for filing personal property with the assessor’s office quickly approaches, Zickefoose explained how Upshur County residents can maximize their refundable income tax credits by filing – and then paying – their personal property taxes in a timely manner.

What enables taxpayers to receive refundable income tax credits by paying their personal property taxes on time?

House Bill 2526, which passed in March of 2023 during the most recent legislative session, originated as Governor Jim Justice’s suggested alternative to Amendment 2, also known as the Property Tax Modernization Amendment. Amendment 2 appeared on the November 2022 General Election ballot and was defeated. Had it passed, however, it would have amended the West Virginia Constitution to give the state Legislature the power to exempt business machinery and equipment, business inventory and personal vehicles from property taxation.

Local governments feared Amendment 2’s passage would take essential revenue streams away. Hence, the purpose of House Bill 2526, ‘Related to reducing personal income tax,’ was to avoid that while also providing an alternative option to changing the state Constitution.

“It was really going to cripple the counties on the revenue side of things, so this was kind of a backdoor approach to help the taxpayers and at the same time, not hurt the counties,” Zickefoose explained. “Governor Justice kind of took the lead on that and said, ‘Hey, we can’t afford to do that.’”

How can taxpayers qualify for refundable income tax credits? First, file timely

To be eligible for refundable income tax credits, residents must do two things, the first of which is to file their personal property tax assessments with the assessor’s office in a timely manner, which means between July 1, 2023, and Oct. 1, 2023. Businesses must file between July 1, 2023, and Sept. 1, 2023.

Zickefoose said that typically in mid-July, residents will receive a real property tax ticket and a personal property tax ticket in the mail. He urged residents to make any necessary changes to their personal property holdings before July 1.

“July 1 is kind of the drop-dead date for us, so if you’ve made changes in regard to your personal property after July 1 of last year (2022) and prior to July 1 of this year (2023), make those changes, submit that form to us between July and October and that is considered filed timely,” Zickefoose said. “That’s what they’re looking for on this bill; to get this rebate, you have to file timely.”

Upshur County residents can file their online assessments on the county website after July 1.

Residents must also pay in a timely manner

The second action residents need to take to maximize their tax rebate is to pay the first half of their personal property taxes prior to Oct. 1, 2023, and the second half on or after Jan. 1, 2024, and prior to March 31, 2024, Zickefoose said.

“When you get your ’23 personal property tax bill, in order to qualify – and I’m not trying to persuade people to do it differently than they normally do – but if they want to qualify for the rebate, they need to pay the first half in calendar year 2023 and the second half in calendar year 2024,” he said. “Then, that will put you on that cycle to get the largest possible rebate.”

“The bottom line is file timely and pay timely,” Zickefoose added. “If you typically pay your personal property taxes for the entire year in September, you can still do that, but if you want to qualify for the rebate and get half of your ’23 tax bill back, you need to wait until calendar year 2024 to pay the second half of your 2023 tax bill.”

When and how will taxpayers receive their refundable income tax credits?

Refundable tax credits will be issued via state income tax filings, not county tax offices, and taxpayers won’t receive them until 2025, when they file for the 2024 tax year.

“This is all administered through income tax,” Zickefoose said. “We are going to be doing the same thing that we’ve always done at the local level; nothing changes here. You just need to be sure you file timely and you pay timely.”

Zickefoose said the state has developed a mechanism to determine whether individuals filed and paid their personal property taxes in a timely manner.

Other important info

Zickefoose wanted to remind taxpayers that they will likely see an increase in personal property taxes owed on vehicles. The increase is one that would have gone into effect last year were it not for an executive order issued by the governor that mandated the schedule of automobile values stay the same due to the ongoing financial stress of the COVID pandemic.

Vehicle values are based on the lowest values shown in a nationally accepted ‘Used Car Guide’ like NADA or J.D. Power.

“What I’m trying to hit on, too, with these vehicle values being up, is that it might ease the pain a little bit if you know you’re going to get some of that back,” Zickefoose said.

“It can get a little confusing, so we’re willing to help people with the process,” he added. “We’re here to try to guide people and help them to be able to qualify for that rebate.”

Residents may also notice that although the excess levy for Upshur County Schools failed in November 2022, it will still appear on tax tickets because the current levy is a five-year one that was renewed in January 2019 and went into effect July 1, 2019. It will therefore remain intact through June 30, 2024.


Zickefoose said his office welcomes people to call, email or stop by with questions about the tax credits. Open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., the assessor’s office is located on the first floor of the Upshur County Courthouse annex and may be reached by phone at 304-472-4650.

Zickefoose may be reached directly via email at

In addition, residents can file assessments online and look up tax records or pay taxes online here.

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