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Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

1. That sections five, six, seven, ten, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, twenty, twenty-eight, twentynine, thirty, thirty-one, thirty-six, thirty-eight, forty-eight, fortynine, fifty-two, fifty-three, fifty-seven, fifty-nine, sixty-four, sixtyfive, sixty-seven, sixty-eight, seventy-one, seventy-two, seventysix, seventy-seven, seventy-eight, seventy-nine, eighty, eighty-one, eighty-six, one hundred and twenty nine, one hundred and thirty, and one hundred and thirty-two, of chapter twenty-nine of the code of West Virginia as last amended and re-enacted by chapter four of the acts of one thousand nine hundred and four and chapter thirty-five of the acts of one thousand nine hundred and five, relating to the assessment of taxes, be and the same are hereby amended and re-enacted so as to read as follows:

Sec. 5. The state tax commissioner shall make a report in writing to the governor biennially, on or before the first day of October next preceding the regular session of the legislature, and at such other times as the governor may require, in which he shall show his official transactions during the period not covered by any preceding report; shall give information respecting the operation of the tax laws throughout the state; shall recommend such changes in the laws concerning the assessment and collection of taxes, and kindred subjects, as he may think ought to be made, and shall repart upon any special matter which may be referred to him by the zovernor, auditor or board of public works; his report shall be printed and communicated to the legislature, and be distributed as other like reports are distributed. To the end that the state tax commissioner may have complete and statistical information as to the practical operation of the tax laws, he may require from any county, district, municipal or other officer in this state, on forms prescribed by the state tax commissioner, such annual or other reports as shall enable said state tax commissioner to ascertain the assessed valuations and equalized valuations of all property listed for taxation throughout the state, the amount of taxes assessed, collected and returned delinquent and such other matter as the state tax commissioner may from time to time require; any officer or person failing to furnish such information or reports when requested to do so by the state tax commissioner shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof, fined not less than fifty dollars nor more than one hundred dollars, and may be confined in jail not less than ten nor more than thirty days. Sec. 6. On and after January first, nineteen hundred and nine,

. 6 each county in the state shall constitute one assessment district, and shall elect one assessor whose term of office shall be four years; hr shall be elected at the general election in the year nineteen hundred and eight and every four years thereafter, and shall be ineligible to re-election until the expiration of four years next after the term for which he was elected; no person shall be eligible to the office of assessor who is not a resident of the county and freeholder therein at the time of his election; the assessors now in office and their successors shall serve until said first day of January, nineteen hundred and nine, unless removed in the manner provided by law, and shall perform also, in their several assessment districts, all the duties of the assistant assessors; the county court shall provide the assessor with an office in the court house which shall be kept open during the time the assessor is required to list property.

Sec. 7. In every county whose population, as shown by the next census last preceding the election of an assessor, does not exceed twenty thousand, there shall be appointed two assistant assessors: in every county whust population is thus shown to exceed twenty thousand and not to exceed thirty thousand, there shall be appointed three assistant assessors; and in every county whose population is thus shown to exceed thirty thousand, there shall be appointed four assistant assessors; each of said assistant assessors shall be a voter and a resident of the county in which he is appointed.

Sec. 10. The assessor and his assistants in each county shall receive annually the following compensation to be paid out of the county fund: Each assesser shall receive annually thirty dollars for each full one hundred voters voting at the preceding presidential election for president of the United States in his county, for the first three thousand voters thereof; twenty-five dollars for each full one hundred additional voters as a foresaid up to three thousand additional voters as aforesaid ; twenty dollars for each full one hundred additional veters as aforesaid up to three thousand additioal voters as aforesaid; and provided, however, that the compensation of any assessor in any county shall in no case be more than twenty-one hundred dollars or less than one thousand dollars; the

salary of the assistant assessors shall be uniform throughout the county, which shall be fixed by the county court, and which shall not be less than three hundred dollars nor more than six hundred dollars; this section shall apply to the assessors now in office, except in counties where there are two assessors the compensation shall be apportioned between the two in such manner as the county court deems fair and equitable; provided, that the compensation of no assessor shall be less than the amount fixed by law before this act goes into effect.

Sec. 12. All property both real and personal, in any county, whether it be assessed by the assessor, assistant assessor, by the board of public works or any other person or officer or tribunal, shall be assessed as of the first day of January, at its true and actual value; (that is to say: at the price for which such property would sell if voluntarily offered for sale by the owner thereof, upon such terms as such property, the value of which is sought to be ascertained, is usually sold, and not the price which might be realized if such property was sold at a forced sale). Nothing in this chapter contained shall be construed so as to require the annual assessment of the value of all the real estate in the state before the year nineteen hundred and nine; but, beginning with said year, it shall be the duty of the assessor and his assistants in each county to assess the value of all real estate annually in said county, as well as the value of all personal property therein, at the true and actual value.

Sec. 13. That section thirteen be, and the same is hereby repealed.

Sec. 14. All property, unless herein otherwise provided, shall be assessed as of the first day of January, of each year. Between the first day of January and the twentieth day of June each assessor and assistant shall call upon every person, in the territory appointed to such assessor and assistant, who is liable to assessment, and thereupon such person shall furnish to said assessors, or his assistant, a full and correct description of all the real estate and personal property of which he was the owner on the first day of January of the current year, fixing what he deems to be the true and actual value of each item of property, both real and personal, for the guidance of the assessor, who shall finally settle and determine the actual value of each item of such property by the rule prescribed in section twelve of this chapter; such person shall also, at the same time, make separate, full and true statements, in like manner, and upon similar blanks to be furnished him, distinctly setting forth in each a correct description of all the property, real and personal, held, possessed or controlled by him, as executor, administrator, guardian, trustee, receiver, agent, partner, attorney, president or accounting officer of a corporation, consignee, broker, or in any representative or fiduciary character, and he shall fix what he deems the true and actual value thereof to each item of such property, which valuation shall be subject to revision and change by the assessor in like manner as property owned by such person in his own right; provided, however, that no person shall be compelled to furnish the list mentioned in this section sooner than the tenth day of January of the current year; provided, further, that no person shall be required to furnish the list and value of his real estate, as above provided, before the year nineteen hundred and nine,

Sec. 15. The assessor and his assistants are empowered to administer oaths in all matters pertaining to his official business, and every such list provided to be made out by the next preceding section shall be sworn to or affirmed, by the person making the same, before it shall be received by the assessor or any of his assistants; the form of such oath or affirmation, when made by the person owning the property (and the oath or affirmation of the owner of the property shall be required in all cases where it is practicable, instead of the oath or affirmation of his agent or manager), shall be substantially as follows; to-wit: “State of West Virginia, county of ... I,

do solemnly swear (or affirm) that to the best of my knowledge, information and belief, the foregoing statement contains a true, full and correct list of all property, real and personal, owned by me on the first day of the assessment year; that where I have been unable to exhibit any class of property to the assessor or to his assistant, such property has been fully and fairly described to him and its true condition represented; that I have in no case sought to mislead the assessor or his assistant, as to the entire quantity, quality or value of the property; that I have reported all moneys and the value of all credits and investments owned by me on the said day and liable to taxation, except bonds of the United States, and except stock in bank, trust companies, and other incorporated companies whose property is

SS;

assessed in the name of such corporation, either within or without this state; that since the first day of the assessment year, I have not directly or indirectly converted or exchanged any of my property temporarily for the purpose of evading the assessment thereof for taxes, into non-taxable property or securities of any kind; that I have, to the best of my knowledge and judgment, valued the said property, both real and personal, at its true and actual value on the first day of the assessment year, by which I mean the price that could be obtained for said property at private or voluntary sale, and on such terms as are usually employed in the selling of such property, and not the price which might be realized at a forced or auction sale; so help me, God.

the

“Subscibed and sworn (or affirmed) to before me, this day of .... 19...

Assessor.

“By ..... Sec. 17. After the year one thousand nine hundred and eight, there shall be held at least two meetings of the assessor and his assistants, between the first day of the assessment year and twentieth day of June of the current year, at such time and place as the assessor shall appoint, of which all of said assistants shall have had due notice, for the purpose of procuring a uniform valuation of property, both real and personal, throughout the entire county, according to its true and actual value.

The last meeting shall be held after the work of listing property has been completed, at which meeting all the lists shall be thoroughly gone over and revised and corrected, and if found to be erroneous either in the amount of property, real or personal, assessed to any person, firm or corporation, or in the value given to any item of property by the taxpayer, by placing on such list the omitted property and giving to it, as well as any property that has been listed, but which has been incorrectly valued, the true and actual value thereof according to the rule prescribed in section twelve of this chapter, and by omitting property improperly listed. The clerk of the county court shall sit as an advisory member at such last meeting.

Sec. 18. After April first, one thousand nine hundred and nine, the board of public works shall appoint three citizens of each county who are freeholders and entitled to vote, not more

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