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Tax FAQ

  1. Who do I talk to about appraised value?
  2. How do I apply for exemptions?
  3. If I didn’t receive a tax statement, do I have to pay the taxes?
  4. Why do I have to pay a penalty if I didn’t receive a tax
    statement?
  5. Timetable for property taxes.
  6. How long after my taxes become delinquent can my property be sold?
  7. Do I have the option to redeem my property?
  8. Can I get a deed to property if I pay the taxes?
  9. Must I pay delinquent taxes if I didn’t own the property in
    delinquent years?
  10. Homestead Exemption
  11. What should I do when I buy property?
  12. Property Taxes
  13. Motor Vehicle Registration
  14. Renewal of Vehicle Tag Purchase
  15. Vehicle Sales Tax
  16. Manufactured Homes

1. Who do I talk to about appraised value?

The Revenue Commissioner places a value on all property. This office
is located in the County Courthouse.

2. How do I apply for exemptions?

You must apply for exemptions between October 1st and the third
Monday in January. Regular homesteads can be claimed year round.

3. If I didn’t receive a tax statement, do I have to pay the taxes?

The Revenue Commissioner is not required to mail tax notices and
does so only as a courtesy to the taxpayer. You are responsible for
the payment of taxes whether you receive a statement or not.

4. Why do I have to pay a penaltyif I didn’t receive a tax
statement?

Alabama law requires the Revenue Commissioner to collect interest
and penalty on all past due taxes at the rate of 12% per annum.

5. Timetable for property taxes.

Taxes are collected on the following schedule for the year that
ended on September 30.

  • Oct. 1 – Tax due
  • Jan. 1 – Tax delinquent
  • Feb. – Turned over to Probate Court
  • Mar. – Probate Court meets
  • Apr. – Advertised for sale
  • May – Tax sale

Payment of taxes may be made as follows:

A. You may pay by mail and avoid standing in line by mailing a check or money order to the Revenue Commissioner.
B. You may come to the county tax office and make payment in person.

C. Ask your mortgage company to pay the tax bill.

6. How long after my taxes become delinquent can my property be sold?

Unpaid taxes on your property will cause your property to be sold yearly.

7. Do I have the option to redeem my property?

Yes. You may redeem your property within 3 years of sale by paying
all taxes, interest, fees, and penalties at the rate of 12% per
annum.

8. Can I get a deed to property if I pay the taxes?

No. Paying taxes on property does not constitute ownership. State
law allows taxes to be paid By persons other than the owner(s).

9. Must I pay delinquent taxes if I didn’t own the property in
delinquent years?

Yes. The taxes follow the property. The tax liability must be
satisfied by the property owner whether the taxes were incurred
prior to current ownership. Never purchase property before having a
title opinion from a reputable source.

10. Homestead Exemption I

May be claimed on your principal residence, regardless of age or
income. Amount of assessed value exempted is $4000 (state) and $2000
(county).

Homestead Exemption II

Persons over 65, or blind or totally disabled, with $7,500 – $12,000
taxable income (federal or state) on the last return qualify for
exemption from state property tax and $5000 county tax (up to 160
acres), must pay all city taxes.

Homestead Exemption III

Persons over 65 or blind or totally disabled are exempt from all
property tax if taxable income is less than $7500.

Homestead Exemption IV

Persons over 65, or blind or totally disabled, if income is more
than $12,000, are exempt from county taxes up to $2000 (not more
than 160 acres), but not exempt from state taxes. Any homestead
granted may be adjusted, rescinded or reinstated at any time by the
local taxing authority granting such exemption as stated in
40-9-19(c) Code of Alabama.

Note: To receive Homestead Exemptions II,III,IV taxpayer
must file and sign the assessment each year and bring federal and
state income tax returns for verification. Industrial exemptions are
available. Please check with the Revenue Commissioner for additional
information.

11. What should I do when I buy property?

  1. Record the deed in the Probate Office.
  2. Assess the property in the Revenue Commissioners Office.
    Note: Be sure to bring the deed.
  3. If you purchased property during the year you need to make sure
    that the taxes are paid. The tax bill will usually be in the
    previous owner’s name. You are responsible for taxes on all
    property you own, no matter how the bill may be listed.
  4. Report all address changes promptly to the Revenue
    Commissioner’s Office in writing.

12. Property Taxes

Property (ad valorem) taxes apply to real in an “arms length”
transaction between a “willing buyer and seller”, neither being
under pressure to buy or sell. The state Legislature has set
Property Taxes Ratios as follows:

Type of Property Class of Property Classification %
(Assessed Ratio)
Utilities Class I 30%
All Other Property Class II 20%
Farm, Forest, and
Owner Occupied
Class III 10%
Motor Vehicles Class IV 15%

13. Motor Vehicle Registration

The Revenue Commissioner’s office assesses and collects ad valorem
taxes on motor vehicles. These taxes are based on assessed value,
determined by make and model of vehicles. Ad valorem taxes are
assessed in areas and must be paid prior to the purchase of the
license plate. To register a vehicle in your name you must show
proof of ownership. Proof of ownership for any vehicle 1975 models
or after is an Alabama Certificate of Title in the name to which
vehicle is to be registered. Proof of ownership for a vehicle 1974
or older is a notarized bill of sale including the purchase price
and a description of the vehicle. It is also necessary to show that
Alabama Sales Tax has been paid in order to complete registration.
If the vehicle was previously titled in Alabama, any accrued taxes
must be paid by the new owner. Previous tax receipt must be
presented if the current tax is not in your home county.

14. Renewal of Vehicle Tag Purchase

Once the vehicle is registered in your name it is necessary to renew
the registration each year according to the following schedule.

Renewal Month First Letter of Last
Name
January A,D
February B
March C,E
April F,G,N
May H,O
June M,I
July P,L
August J,K,R
September Q,S,T
October U,V,W,X,Y,Z

All commercial vehicles and recreational vehicles of any type
must be renewed in October and November.

As of January 1, 1998, all of the following will apply:

All license plates, except Vintage Vehicle, will remain with the
vehicle owner instead of remaining with the vehicle.

Auto registration must be carried in the vehicle to provide that
the license plate is on the proper vehicle.

Penalty Schedule:

(a) Failure to renew your tag by the end of the renewal month
— $15.
(b) Failure to transfer vehicle registration into your name within
20 days of purchase — $15.
(c) Failure to register vehicle within 30 days of moving into
Alabama from another state with a valid out-of-state license plate
— $15.

15. Vehicle Sales Tax

Usually sales tax is collected by the dealer at the time of
purchase. However, when a vehicle is purchased from a private
individual, casual sales tax must be paid at the time of vehicle
registration. The State casual sales tax is 2% of the purchased
price. Depending on where you live you may also have a municipal
casual sales tax and a county sales tax.

16. Manufactured Homes

All mobile home owners must display a current home decal. (a) if you
are owner of the mobile home but not owner of the land it is on,
your mobile home must be registered and a registration fee is to be
paid each year between October 1 and November 30. (b) if you are
owner of the mobile home and the land it sits on, your mobile home
needs to be assessed with the land and subject to ad valorem taxes.
In either case, a mobile home decal will be given on payment of
registration fee or ad valorem tax. Failure to display a mobile
home decal will result in a citation.