All Alabama counties are now under an ‘annual reappraisal’ program which requires the assessing official to review 1/4 of the County each year, and to assess any/all additional buildings identified during this process for the upcoming tax year. A review of 100% of the property in a county will be completed over a four year equalization cycle. The benefit to annual equalization is to improve equalization among similar and dissimilar properties. The annual equalization process also provides a stable as well as an enhanced revenue stream from property taxes for schools, municipal, county and state government. An equally important result is the small annual market value increase annually instead of the large market value increase of the four-year cycle. The Director of the Property Tax Division has the duties and responsibilities of managing the activities of the Division. The Code of Alabama 1975, Section 40-7-74 and 40-2-11, directs that the property reappraisal program shall be administered by the Commissioner of Revenue and supervised by the Director of the Property Tax Division.
The law requires that owners, or their agent, must visit the Revenue Commissioner’s Office no later than December 31 to sign a new assessment officially reporting any improvements made to or any removal of structures or features from their property, on or before October 1 of that year. Examples of improvements that should be reported would include: new structures or additions, swimming pools, extensive repairs, remodeling, or renovations; adding a fireplace, extra bath, patio, deck, carport, garage, etc. However, such things as re-roofing, minor repairs and painting, (normal maintenance type items), would not require a reassessment.
Record the deed in the Probate Office.
Assess the property in the Revenue Commissioners Office. Note: Be sure to bring the deed.
If you purchased property during the year, you need to make sure 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.
Report all address changes promptly to your local Revenue Commissioner’s Office in writing.
There are two reasons for your property taxes to increase: (1) a tax rate (millage) increase, or (2) an increase in the appraised value of the property. The first reason, a tax rate increase, would have to come from a vote of the citizens or by the taxing authority (County Commission) to increase (or decrease) the millage rate. The second situation, involving an increase in the appraised value, would come from a court ordered re-appraisal or from an “economically-based” increase in the market value of properties in the county, resulting in an increase in the appraised value.