Look inside WV’s cumbersome – and sometimes damaging – property tax sale process

BY TAYLOR BENNETT, COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT POLICY COORDINATOR, THE HUB

How does the sale of property tax debt impact everyday life in West Virginia’s communities? A new report aims to find out.

As part of our work with the Abandoned Properties Coalition, The Hub and our partners at the Huntington Urban Renewal Authority, the Northern WV Brownfields Assistance Center, and the WVU Land Use and Sustainable Development Law Clinic have been working with the national nonprofit Center for Community Progress to examine how the process surrounding unpaid, or delinquent, property taxes leads to a high volume of vacant and abandoned real estate across WV communities.

The presence of these properties in our cities and towns causes a negative ripple effect that touches everything from efforts to grow our local economies to the health and well-being of WV’s residents.

This research is much more than just a report – it provides a roadmap for reimagining the currently very complicated property tax sale process to be more effective for taxpayers, county government officials, and the state of West Virginia at large.

Did you know…

  • Confusion, abuse, and lack of accountability around WV’s property tax sale process is resulting in WVians losing their homes? Deteriorating WV downtowns?
  • This same process has caused more than 8,400 properties in WV to go into an un-taxable limbo – in some cases for more than 50 years

 

What’s inside the report?

Readers of the report will find:

  • How the property tax sale process works currently + how different properties may be impacted by the process
  • Specific analyses of how vacant properties have affected both residents of Huntington and the entire state
  • Suggestions for public policy solutions
  • An infographic mapping the entire property tax sale process, that can last four or more years (According to the Center for Community Progress, it is the first of its kind in the United States!)

 

Read the Report

The research and report will be officially released at the BAD Buildings Summit in Morgantown on November 14.

Following, this page will be updated with a link to the report.

To be sure not to miss out, join The Hub’s email list to receive a copy of the report in your inbox – and to learn about future public education projects surrounding the findings in this research.

Sign up to receive the report via email »

See What WVians are Saying

Earlier this year, the team at The Hub asked residents to share stories of how vacant, abandoned, and dilapidated buildings affect their lives and communities as part of this research. A complete accounting of responses will be included in the final report, but you can catch a glimpse of what we found out in this post on our blog.

We thank the team at the Center for Community Progress, and their pivotal Technical Assistance Scholarship Program, for making the creation of this report possible.

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