BUCKHANNON- During Thursday’s meeting of the Upshur County Commission, Heather Sparks, chief tax deputy, presented the commission with the final disposition list for tax year 2017.
According to Sparks, the tax office began the process of handling delinquent taxes from 2017 in May of 2018. At that time, there were 1,711 delinquent properties in Upshur County that totaled over $400,000. Sparks said her office then advertised the delinquent list in accordance with the state code.
The Upshur County tax office prepared a second list to advertise in September.
“At that time, we started researching each property,” Sparks told the commissioners. “We check addresses to make sure we are sending them to the correct addresses. We really do try to research every aspect of the property to make sure the correct tax payers are being notified.
Sparks said this requires over a month for the office to complete, and in October they sent 900 certified letters to the tax payers and lean holders. After all of the owners were notified, the Sheriff’s office held a delinquent tax land sale in November.
Prior to the sale taking place, 1,416 properties were redeemed by the owners that were worth around $379,000. An addition 81 properties were suspended from the sale due to being gas royalties and not physical property.
“We took 213 properties to the sale, and 142 were sold to individuals,” Sparks said. “That totaled $21,696. Seventy-one properties were not bid on and they were sold to the state.”
According to Sparks, the state will hold the 71 properties until March 31, 2020, and the properties can be redeemed by the owner until that date.
“I want to stress to the citizens of Upshur County who have had a tax lean sold, whether it was to the state or an individual, they can redeem their properties and get it back,” she continued.
Sparks added that anyone interested in redeemed their property that was sold due to a tax lean can contact the West Virginia state auditor’s tax office by calling 888-509-6568.
After the presentation, Commissioner Kristie Tenney made a motion, with a second from Commission President Sam Nolte, to approve and sign the affidavit of acceptance. Commissioner Terry Cutright was not present at Thursday’s meeting.
During the regular meeting, the Commissioners also:
-approved the certification of election results.
-approved the Upshur Count Commission’s mission statement for purposed of meeting grant requirements set by the WV Division of Justice and Community Services.
-approved and signed the 2018 Stop Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) grant application in the amount of $300,000.
-approved a request for the Sheriff of Upshur County to reopen and be appointed as Administrator of the estate of Virginia Lee Reed, deceased. Additional assets were discovered after the estate was closed.
-approved to replace Rob Hinton with Doug Bush as the County Commission representative on the WesMonTy Resource Conservation and Development Board of Directors, effective immediately. This term is for a period of two years, pursuant to the Board’s bylaws.
-approved Sara Mcle as a volunteer at the Lewis – Upshur Animal Control Facility.
-approved $1,500 from spay/neuter funds to supplement project initiatives of the Animal Outreach Project. The group originally asked for $5,000 to supplement upcoming projects.
-approved Richard Harlow to serve on the Upshur County Fire Board upon Joe Malcolm’s term expiration on June 30, 2019. Mr. Harlow’s term will commence on July 1, 2019 and expire on June 30, 2022.