To assess real estate correctly, the assessor must have complete maps of all property in the jurisdiction, updated regularly to show changes in parcel boundaries or other physical characteristics.
Tax maps are an essential tool in the development and maintenance of an equitable assessment system. They are indispensable for taking inventory of all properties in the county and assuring their inclusion on the tax roll. They are essential for the location and identification of properties to be assessed and are a requisite for the determination of dimensions and area necessary in calculating land valuations.
A tax map, as defined in The Glossary for Property Appraisal and Assessment, is “a scale map displaying property ownership boundaries and showing the dimensions of each parcel with related identifiers, survey lines and easements.”
Uniform Parcel Numbering System
The uniform parcel numbering system shall contain seven sets of numbers, each set designed to locate the parcel geographically as well as by ownership map sheet. The numbering system identifies the county, township, area, section, quarter section and /or block in which the parcel is located. The system is completely numerical rather than alphanumeric to facilitate data processing. It is also designed as a system for numbering the ownership map. A description of the seven sets of numbers is as follows:
- County number: the same number as that assigned for automobile tags. For example, Autauga County would be 04, Montgomery County would be 03, and Pike County would be 55.
- Township number: the township in which the parcel is located. Normally, there are 36 sections in a township and each township has its own separate number. The townships are numbered sequentially from east to west and west to east in a serpentine manner within each tier so that the easternmost township in the northerly tier would be 01. If a township is less or larger than normal size, it is nevertheless numbered in its proper sequence.
- Area number: describes one of the nine areas within a township. The areas are numbered sequentially from east to west and west to east in a serpentine manner and grouped in four section blocks. The northeasterly group of four sections with a normal 36-section township would be numbered 01 and the southwesterly 09. If a township is less than normal in size or cut by a county boundary, an area may be less than four sections. If the township is cut by a county boundary, the area will have the same number that would be assigned to it if it were in a normal 36-section township.
- Section number: the land section that the parcel is located in. A section number will range from 01 to 36.
- Quarter section number: the quarter section that the parcel is located in. These numbers run in a counterclockwise manner with the northeast quarter being number 1; the northwest quarter being number 2, the southwest quarter being number 3, and the southeast quarter being number 4. In those instances where the quarter section number is not used, the space in the uniform parcel numbering system will contain one zero.
- Map block number: for convenience in numbering, each map sheet may be broken into blocks bounded by geographical features such as roads, streams, railroads, etc. The block number will be a three-digit number, the first always being a “0”. Block numbers may be assigned up to 099. Regardless of the mapping scale, each map block will contain less than 200 parcels. In those instances where map block numbers are not used, the space in the uniform parcel number will contain three zeros.
- Parcel number: the number assigned to the particular parcel. This series of numbers identifies individual parcels within a block, quarter section map sheet, or section map sheet.
Splits or Sell-offs
Where the map has an established parcel number and the owner sells part of the parcel to another person, the split will be assigned the original parcel number from which the land was sold plus the addition of a decimal number to identify the split.
County Offices and Online Appraisal and Assessment Records
Obtain general county office contact information as well as specific information regarding online appraisal and assessment records by county.