Crouch v. County Court Of Wyo. County, 8191.

CourtSupreme Court of West Virginia
Writing for the CourtMAXWELL
Citation181 S.E. 819
Docket NumberNo. 8191.,8191.
Decision Date08 October 1935

181 S.E. 819


No. 8191.

Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia.

Oct. 8, 1935.

[181 S.E. 819]
Syllabus by the Court.

Where an assessment of real estate of an amount ($50,000 or more: Code 1931, 11-3-25) reviewable by the supreme court of appeals, appears to have been made without proper regard to requisite elements and to have been approved by the circuit court without substantial evidence to sustain the assessed valuation, the appellate court will reverse the circuit court's order of affirmation and will remand the case for further proceedings.

Appeal from Circuit Court, Wyoming County.

Action by E. H. Crouch against the County Court of Wyoming County. From an adverse order, plaintiff appeals.

Reversed and remanded.

Carl C. Sanders, of Beckley, for appellant.

Homer A. Holt, Atty. Gen., W. Holt Wooddell, Asst. Atty. Gen., and F. E. Shannon, Pros. Atty., of Pineville, for appellee.


This review involves a Wyoming County land assessment alleged by the owner, E. H. Crouch, to be excessive.

In January, 1933, he bought of the Newberry heirs a tract of about 3600 acres in Clear Fork District of said County and the minerals underlying about 200 acres in Oceana District. The consideration was $75,000.00. For 1933 and 1934 the assessment on the 3600 acre tract was $31.50 per acre, and on the mineral tracts $22.50. The total is between $116,000 and $120,000 (exact amount not disclosed by record). Crouch paid the taxes for 1933. The controversy pertains to the 1934 assessment. This assessment was made by the assessor of Wyoming County, and approved by the county court sitting as a board of review and equalization (Acts 1933, c. 41), and by the circuit court on appeal (Code 1931, 11-3-25).

The statute, Code 1931, 11-3-25, allows appeal to this Court where the assessment is $50,000.00 or more. We will not disturb an assessment which is supported by substantial evidence unless it is plainly wrong. West Penn Power Co. v. Board of Review and Equalization, 112 W. Va. 442, 164 S. E. 862. However, in the instant case we are of opinion that the assessment is not well supported.

The price paid for property is not conclusive as to value, but it may be a very important element of proof where there has been an open transaction between competent parties dealing at arm's length as appears from the evidence herein.

On this inquiry our attention is first arrested by the fact that the assessed valuation is nearly $50,000...

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6 cases
  • Kline v. McCloud, No. 16042
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • December 14, 1984
    ...value." 295 S.E.2d at 705-06. (Emphasis in original). Furthermore, in Crouch v. County Court of Wyoming County, 116 W.Va. 476, 477, 181 S.E. 819, 819 (1935), we recognized that the price paid for real estate was a substantial indicia of its true and actual value, so long as the property cha......
  • Wright v. Banks, No. 11–1768.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • November 21, 2013
    ...length transaction is a substantial indication of its true and actual value. Crouch v. County Court of Wyoming County, 116 W.Va. 476, 477, 181 S.E. 819, 819 (1935). Further, this Court has stated that “the price paid for a parcel of land in a recent arm's length transaction is an indicator ......
  • Tax Assessments Against the Southern Land Co., In re, No. 10861
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • April 8, 1958
    ...and Equalization of Brooke County, 1932, 112 W.Va. 442, 164 S.E. 862; E. H. Crouch v. County Court of Wyoming County, 1935, 116 W.Va. 476, 181 S.E. 819. In the West Penn case, supra [112 W.Va. 442, 164 S.E. 863], the Court, while admitting that the problems are 'primarily administrative', s......
  • Bankers Pocahontas Coal Co. v. County Court of McDowell County, No. 10248
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of West Virginia
    • December 19, 1950
    ...cases there cited. Notwithstanding some indication to the contrary in the opinion in the case of Crouch v. County Court, 116 W.Va. 476, 181 S.E. 819, it is a general rule that the courts will not interfere with the exercise of the taxing power in the absence of 'a clear showing of the arbit......
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