BUCKHANNON – Local Chamber of Commerce members learned about new changes that allow state residents to receive refundable income tax credits after they pay their personal property taxes this year.
Upshur County Assessor Dusty Zickefoose spoke during the Aug. 9 Buckhannon-Upshur Chamber of Commerce meeting to inform the members about the credits and the updated timelines necessary to qualify for them.
In a previous My Buckhannon article, Zickefoose explained these credits were included in House Bill 2526, which passed during the most recent legislative session. The bill was proposed as an alternative to Amendment 2, also known as the Property Tax Modernization Amendment, which would have given the legislature the authority to exempt certain classes of personal property from taxation but was voted down by residents.
“Locally, the counties got together and said, ‘Hey, we can’t afford to do that,’” Zickefoose said of Amendment 2. “It was like 25 to 20 percent of our revenue was going to be out the door.”
After the amendment failed, state leaders came up with an alternative that would allow counties to keep their funding and instead offer residents an income tax rebate.
“The governor stepped in and said, ‘Hey, we can’t afford to do that unless we go this route,’ and he proposed House Bill 2526 that qualifies for a rebate on your personal property taxes,” Zickefoose said.
The timeline to qualify for the rebates recently changed in the August special session of the legislature. Now the second half of your 2023 property tax bill will qualify for the rebate regardless of whether you pay in the fall or the spring.
“Prior to last night, you had to pay the first half of your 2023 bill in calendar year 2023, and the second half in calendar year 2024, prior to March 1, to qualify for the rebate,” Zickefoose said. “They have changed that so you can pay the full amount today and you still qualify for the second half of 2023. They are not rebating the full 2023 — they are still only rebating the second half of 2023 — but it doesn’t matter when you pay it as long as it’s before March 1.”
Zickefoose said nothing on the local level is different.
“At the local level, you still do everything you’ve always done — you get assessed on time, you still pay the sheriff when you get your bill, nothing changes at the local level,” Zickefoose said. “That was a big question — and we’ve gotten a lot of questions — but the rebate itself is actually administered through income tax, so when you do your income taxes for 2024, that’s where you’ll recognize the rebate.”
Zickefoose said individuals who are not required to file a West Virginia income tax return will still qualify for the rebate and will be able to file a claim in early 2025. Individuals leasing their vehicles should see the savings from their leasing company.
More information about the rebates can be found on the West Virginia Tax Division website, which lists which types of vehicles are eligible for the credit.