More than 2,000 Mercer County property owners went to their mailbox in the middle of the month to find a notice from Mercer County Assessor Sharon Gearhart.

Printed by the state of West Virginia, the notices were sent to explain the property owner’s parcel of land had increased in assessable (taxable) value at least $1,000 and 10 percent.

“Those values may not be correct,” Gearhart said, a few days later. “Some of the property will go up but not by that amount.”

New tables that value an acre of property according to where the land is located in the county, in what neighborhood, and what purpose it services were created last year. Also, the Assessor’s office changed the modifier it uses to prevent buildings from depreciating to no value. Like with all new things, problems needed to be corrected with the new tables.

“We had a lot of computer problems in the satellite office,” Gearhart continued. “The guys in that office have been working evenings and weekends to try to get the properties updated that were not correct in the land tables.”

The notices were mailed by the state of West Virginia before those modifications were completed, resulting in a dramatic increase in the number of people affected. Mercer County, according to Gearhart, normally sees less than a 1,000 such notices each year.

 “If anybody has any questions or issues, then they need to call us [at the Assessor’s office],” She added. “We’ll work with people. We’re here for the people, not to take from the people.”

If satisfaction cannot be reached with the Assessor’s office, one may contact the Mercer County Commission at 304-487-8306 to schedule an appeal.

If you received a letter from Gearhart explaining the value of your property increased $1,000 and 10 percent in value, contact the Assessor’s office at 304-425-7358.

— Contact Matt Christian at mchristian@ptonline.net.

 

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