Wood County Commission sets Board of Equalization and Review schedule
PARKERSBURG — The Wood County Commission Monday set the date and times it will convene as the Board of Equalization and Review and discussed issues with the Day Report Center system and people now being able to pay their county bills online.
The commission unanimously agreed the Board of Equalization meetings will mostly coincide with the regular commission meeting times starting 9:30 a.m. Feb. 1, at which time the Wood County Assessor’s Office will submit the property books for the current year.
Taxpayers can come before the board beginning 10 a.m. until noon on Feb. 1, 4, 8, 11, 16 and 18. If afternoon appointments are needed, the board will convene from 1-3 p.m.
“It is a great time for people to come to discuss their property taxes,” Commission President Blair Couch said.
Feb. 15, is President’s Day holiday and the courthouse will be closed so a session is being scheduled for Feb. 16. Hearings also will be available 5-7 p.m. Feb. 8 by appointment only
The commission will examine and review the property books in regard to each hearing, making adjustments if deemed necessary. Commissioners suggest any issue with property valuations be taken up with the Wood County Assessor’s Office first, although it is not a requirement and people can appear before the commission to discuss it.
“We always advise people to bring clear and convincing evidence for a change, such as pictures, insurance statements, a current appraisal,” Couch said. “They need to bring information to us so we can make a judgment of their valuation. All of that is stuff we would like to see to be able to adjust a value if it is needed.”
The commission has had few people appear over the last couple of years because people went through the assessor’s office first and were able to work out any issues beforehand.
“So far, it appears that anyone who has a legitimate concern has been able to get it resolved through the assessor’s office,” Couch said.
The Board of Equalization and Review will conclude Feb. 22.
In other business, officials are looking at a new location for the Pleasants County Day Report Center in St. Marys.
The Mid-Ohio Valley Day Report Center Board, which has representation from the Wood County Commission, oversees the centers in Wood, Pleasants, Ritchie, Roane and Jackson counties. It also serves clients in Wirt and Calhoun counties.
The Day Report Centers are a Substance Abuse Rehab Clinic and provide treatment to people with drug addiction and other substance abuse problems.
The Pleasants County center is at 213 Second St. in St. Marys.
“The location is not ADA compatible and that has made it hard for us to do our mission,” Couch said.
The center is on the second floor of a building owned by the Pleasants County Commission. It is only accessible through exterior stairs behind the building which could be a problem in increment weather.
Couch met with Pleasants County Commissioner Larry Barnhart on Monday afternoon to discuss options. Nothing was decided and discussions will continue, Couch said.
County officials are touting the ability of taxpayers to go on the county’s website at www.WoodCountyWV.com to pay their real estate and personal property taxes online. People are able to look up their taxes by searching by name, property address or by district-map-parcel and by typing in the tax year.
“It is a great option,” Couch said. “We are trying to make it as smooth as possible.”
Officials said improvements were made to the “Tax Inquiry” content on the website.
On the county website, there is an introductory video to help guide people through the process, Couch said.
With online payment, people can pay with a credit card or debit card. Service fees of $1 plus 2.2 percent of the total bill will apply.
“In these days of COVID, we want to put as much information out on our website that makes walking into the courthouse less needed,” Couch said.
Brett Dunlap can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org