CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The assessed value of public utility properties in West Virginia is at a record $8.9 billion, pending appeals.
State Property Tax Division director Jeff Amburgy said the assessed property values have increased about $515 million, or 6 percent, compared to a 3.6 percent increase in the previous fiscal year.
Amburgy said about $238 million of the increase is due to completion of the Trans-Allegheny Interstate Line. The 500-kilovolt power line from Pennsylvania to northern Virginia that runs through parts of Monongalia, Preston Tucker, Grant, Hardy and Hampshire counties.
The total assessed value also rose because of natural gas pipeline companies expanding operations and acquiring property.
Amburgy presented the figures Monday to the state Board of Public Works.
The board must approve annual property valuations for all utilities operating in the state, including water, natural gas, electric and telephone companies, and railroads.
Amburgy told the board that the increase in assessed values is expected to boost property tax collections by $11.6 million.
The increase came despite a 4 percent decline in the assessed value of properties owned by landline telephone companies.
"Folks continue nationwide, and in West Virginia, the practice of disconnecting their home line and going totally wireless," Amburgy said.
He said the closure of four coal-fired power plants in the state will not have a significant on the state's utility properties tax base. But local property tax revenues could take a large hit.
Utilities can bring appeals of the assessed values before the board on Nov. 1.