§11A-3-73. Release of taxes, interest and charges on land assessed by erroneous description, etc; misdescription, etc., not to result in forfeiture or subject land to the authority and control of the Auditor.
In view of the large number of lots, parcels and tracts of land in this state which are entered on the land books by descriptions, or statement of interest or estate, or name of owner, or in a taxing district, which are erroneous or deficient in various particulars and the large number of lots, parcels and tracts of land in this state, and interests and estates therein, which appear on the land books by entries which have been or may be considered to be irregular, erroneous, invalid or void in various particulars because of the way in which the name of the owner, the area, the lot or tract number or reference, the local description, the statement of the interest or estate and other particulars are stated, or because the entries are in the wrong taxing district; and the uncertainty which exists as to whether the payment of taxes thereon prevents the land intended to be assessed from having been forfeited for nonentry or be subject to the authority and control of the Auditor pursuant to section thirty-seven of this article; and in view of the necessity for permitting the owners of such land to pay taxes thereon in safety and to relieve from and avoid double payment of taxes on the same land in such cases, it is the purpose and intent of the Legislature to, and it hereby does, release all taxes and charges that may be or become due or unpaid, or considered to be or become due or unpaid, on any such lot, parcel or tract of land in this state for each year that the taxes charged thereon under such entry have been or shall be paid, even though the entry be entirely different in description or otherwise from the land intended or be completely deficient, provided the identity of the land intended by such entry can be ascertained. All title which has been acquired by the State of West Virginia by forfeiture of land or lands which are subject to the authority and control of the Auditor because of any such entry for any such year is hereby released and granted to the owner of such land in all cases where the identity of the land intended by such entry can be ascertained. No such entry heretofore or hereafter made for any such year shall constitute, or be considered to constitute, a failure of the owner of such land to have the same entered on the land books and to have himself charged with taxes thereon, or an omission of the same from the land books, or shall result in, or be considered to have resulted in a forfeiture for nonentry of the land or be considered to subject the land to the authority and control of the Auditor intended by such entry if the identity of the land intended by such entry can be ascertained. Such identity may be ascertained by any available evidence, parole or written, of record or not of record, including, but not limited to, tracing back prior years land book entries and valuations to a transfer to the present or a former owner, notations on the land books and other records in the office of the assessor for the current and prior years, conveyances to and from the present and former owners, and all pertinent evidence not within the foregoing classes. The provisions of this section are remedial and shall be liberally construed for the relief of landowners.