What Does the Sale of Property Tax Debt Mean for West Virginia Communities?

A Report on Delinquent Property Tax Enforcement and Vacant Property for West Virginia Reformers

Author(s): Center for Community Progress

In 2017, the Center for Community Progress — through our technical assistance scholarship program — worked with the Huntington Urban Renewal Authority (HURA) and its statewide partners to help build awareness around the urgency to solve vacant, abandoned, and deteriorated property issues around West Virginia.

This report includes (1) a summary of the West Virginia delinquent property tax enforcement system told through the stories of two hypothetical properties, (2) a preliminary menu of recommendations for local best practices and legislative reform to the property tax enforcement system, and (3) recommendations for data needed to inform reforms that might decrease vacancy and abandonment or arrest it earlier in the life cycle of a property.

This report is a resource for West Virginia property tax reformers. The observations and analysis rest on the insight and warnings of West Virginians working on the ground with tax delinquent, vacant, abandoned, and dilapidated properties. The possibilities and opportunities for reform are inspired by the gritty commitment, creativity, and heart demonstrated by the leaders that call West Virginia home. Any errors, oversights, or omissions belong solely to the authors. Honest conversations, appetites for reform, and hope for the future belong solely to the people of West Virginia.

Madison Gharghoury, Development Associate and Special Assistant to the President/CEO

Published: November 2017


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