Property taxes can differ widely depending on the variables involved in the calculation. Knowing the different metrics can alert you to the differences in how information is gathered, which sources are used and how reporting organizations apply this initial data. In West Virginia, property taxes are fairly low, and this is shown across most reporting organizations. Understanding your county and state property tax calculations and average tax rates can help you make an informed decision on which area of West Virginia best meets your financial goals of home ownership.

Average Property Taxes

There are essentially three measures of property taxes that apply to West Virginia home owners: the median property tax per home in the state, the percentage of income represented by the property taxes and the percentage of property value represented by the taxes. The first and third metrics are generally available, while the second metric is not widely available.

In West Virginia, property taxes are always expressed as cents per $100 of assessed value, and the state only assesses a property at 60% of its market value for taxes. This is the mill rate and is decided by each individual taxing authority within the state. A mill rate of 300 would equal 300 cents ($3) per every $100 of taxable value. This difference is evident in many states between a state’s mill rate and what many consumers understand as a tax rate percentage. In 2011, West Virginians paid the lowest amount in per capita property taxes at just $770. West Virginians paid just $495 on a median home value of $84,100. Expressed as a dollar figure, it is hard to compare to other states, counties or home values.

West Virginia has an effective tax rate based on owner-occupied homes and their median values as 0.58%.

Webster County has the lowest property taxes, with just $235 collected on the median home value, while Pocahontas County, at 0.30% and $313 property taxes paid, is the cheapest county. In all assessments of property tax in West Virginia, the state pays lower than the national average in property taxes. On the other end of the spectrum, McDowell County in the southern region of the state pays the highest property tax percentage rates at 0.70%, but the county's residents actually pay the lowest median taxes in the state that are actually collected. It is statistics such as these that are easily manipulated.

How West Virginia Compares to the National Average

The national average effective property tax rate was 1.14% as of 2010, but that figure has increased to 1.211% for 2016. In either case, West Virginians pay about half the national average in property taxes and ranks range from fifth to seventh cheapest for residential property taxes in either per capita or median taxes paid metrics.

How West Virginia's Tax Compares to Its Neighboring States

West Virginia neighbors five other states: Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia. The states' effective tax rates are Ohio at 1.553%, Pennsylvania at 1.506%, Maryland at 1.085%, Virginia at 0.797% and Kentucky at 0.837%. West Virginia is well-positioned among its neighboring states, as it has the lowest effective tax rate of them all. Virginia, Maryland and Kentucky do have tax rates lower than the national average.

As a home owner who must pay property taxes, you should consider looking at specific county rates, as these can differ by as much as 1 percent, which means the difference between being over or under the state or national average. This information is vital to making a home purchase decision that takes into account your overall budget for home ownership.

Arizona Property Tax Guide

Related Articles
  1. Investing

    10 Best States to Own a Big House

    On top of the low property taxes and average housing costs, these states all tend to have great natural beauty and land worth building on.
  2. Taxes

    Overall Tax Burden By State

    Start here, to research states with the heaviest tax burdens. The charts below compare them by income tax, sales tax and property tax.
  3. Taxes

    Your Property Tax Assessment: What Does It Mean?

    Understanding your property taxes can protect you from financial shocks.
  4. Taxes

    10 Best States for Property Taxes in 2016

    Whether you are thinking of moving or just curious to see whether your state is in the top 10, these rankings are eye-opening.
  5. Taxes

    5 State Tax Issues For When You Leave the Military

    When you're budgeting for post-military life, certain state tax issues need to be considered.
  6. Investing

    Use Real Estate To Put Off Tax Bills

    Find out how you can build wealth and reduce your taxes.
  7. Taxes

    How Does a Tax-Free Exchange Work?

    In regards to the sale of property, particularly in real estate, a 1031 exchange is increasingly being recognized for its tax benefits to investors of all levels.
  8. Taxes

    Where Can You Buy Tax Free on Amazon?

    Time was, you could shop online without paying sales tax. That's less and less the case.
  9. Taxes

    10 Things to Know About 1031 Exchanges

    Real estate swaps grow popular, but traps are many. Here's 10 things to know when considering 1031 swaps. Also: Beware new rules on vacation homes.
  10. Investing

    Canada: A New Frontier For Real Estate Investors

    This property market is easy to access and provides profitable opportunities.
Frequently Asked Questions
  1. What Is a Ginnie Mae Security?

    Find out how a Ginnie Mae, or Government National Mortgage Association security, functions in lending money for the purchase ...
  2. How Does Gross Profit Margin and Operating Profit Margin Differ?

    Gross profit margin and operating profit margin both measure profitability for a company, but have distinct differences that ...
  3. Why would a company buy back its own shares?

    Learn about share buybacks and the reasons a company might choose to repurchase its own stock, including ownership consolidation ...
  4. What is the difference between CAPEX and OPEX?

    In this article, we'll teach you the differences between a company's capital expenditures and its operational expenses.
Trading Center