EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSTAX INCREASES
from Eyewitness News Online
Property Taxes On The Rise
Reported by: Kallie Cart
Videographer: Katy Brown
Web Producer: Kallie Cart
Reported: Jan. 22, 2013 7:13 PM EST
Updated: Jan. 23, 2013 9:13 AM EST
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
Property taxes are on the rise, hitting residents and business owners hard.
Mark Perine has been a business owner in the Kanawha Valley for more than a decade, with a number of properties and he says he is about to do something he's never done before at his business in Charleston, Appalachian Mini Storage. Perine says he is preparing to raise his rates.
That's because he says he received notice that taxes on eight of his properties are going up. At Appalachian Mini Storage the taxes jumped 240% from $4,600 to $15,000.
"It's just hard for businesses to absorb an increase like this," Perine says.
All told, Perrine is going to end up paying twice as much in property taxes, an additional $17,000. He says he's been given 6-months notice to come up with the extra cash.
"If they stand they way they are, 20% of my net income will go to these taxes," Perine says.
But he isn't alone, commercial and residential property taxes are on the rise in Kanawha County and several other counties. The state tax office says the rates have been on the rise for the past several years. The main reason is a legislative audit which found properties have been under-assessed for years and counties have been under pressure to get more in line with actual values.
On the business side, Stephen Duffield with the Kanawha County Assessor's office says another factor driving up taxes is they are now factoring in the income potential of the property -- how much the businesses make -- more than ever.
But Duffield says they are willing to work with people and encourage people to reach out to them, to ensure they get it right.
There is also a tax appeals office for the state if you think your property has been assessed unfairly.
Kanawha County delegates have proposed a bill for the last several years to limit the percentage your property taxes could go up in a year, but the bill has never gained any traction.
House Minority Leader Tim Armstead also says he wants to propose changes to how business owners and residents appeal their taxes, to make it easier.
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