Real Property Tax F A Q


What does the Tax Assessor do?
We are responsible to be certain that each year every parcel of real and personal property in Jefferson County is listed on the tax rolls and assessed at its fair market value.
We apply tax saving exemptions and make sure that everyone receives all applicable exemptions.
· When you purchase or acquire real property you must file a tax return with the Tax Assessor on or before December 31 for any property purchased or acquired during the previous fiscal year, October 1 thru September 30. You must show proof of interest in property, such as a deed, mortgage, lease sale contract, or other entity of ownership before changing name and address on the tax roll.
· When improvements (buildings) are added to or removed from property, you must file a tax return.
· We can furnish tax ownership information and copies of maps.
What is real property?
Land and all things thereunto pertaining, all structures, and all things annexed or attached thereto which would pass to a vendee by the conveyance of the land or property - Code of Ala, 1975, Section 40-1-1.
What is Property Fair Market Value?
Alabama law requires all property to be valued at its "fair market value". The majority of property values are based on market value. Market value is generally accepted as being the price which the property would bring following a reasonable exposure to the market, where both the buyer and the seller are willing to buy and sell, are not acting under compulsion, and are reasonably informed as to the uses and purposes for which the property is adapted and is capable of being used. That is a hypothetical willing buyer, who did not have to buy, would pay for your property to a hypothetical willing seller who did not have to sell. We know that you did not buy your home as a speculation, but to live in. But, the actions of people who buy and sell property like yours set the value of your property.
How do we appraise your property?
In Jefferson County, the Board of Equalization appraises all real property. See Board of Equalization Web Page or call (205) 325-5566.
How is property classified?
Class III … 10% of fair market value …owner occupied single family dwelling farm, pasture, timberland, historical Class II … 20% of fair market value …all property not otherwise classified, including real property and personal property described as machinery, furniture and fixtures, etc, owned or operated by private enterprise Class I … 30% of fair market value … Public Utilities described as (a) real property (b) personal property, tangible and intangible. Class IV … 15% of fair market value …Motor vehicles (see Jefferson County Department of Revenue)
What is the Parcel Identification? Eg: 01-01-1-000-001.001
Each parcel of land in Jefferson County is assigned a unique identification number to geographically locate it on our tax maps, access assessment, appraisal, and payment data. Jefferson County is divided into 44 Townships. Within each six-mile square, are thirty-six "Sections", approximately one square mile, numbered 01 through 36. The first two digits of the parcel number is an arbitrary township number, the second two digits is the section number, the third one digit number is the quarter section, the fourth three digit number is the block number and the fifth six digit number is the parcel number.
Who sets tax rates?
The amount of your tax bill depends on two factors. The first is the assessed value (based on classification) of your property, which is the Tax Assessor's job. The second is the tax rate, expressed as dollars per thousand, for each taxing entity in which property is located. This rate is set by the taxing entities, i.e. state, county, municipalities, and school boards in whose jurisdictions the property lies.
What is homestead exemption and how can I claim it?
· Owner occupied property is assessed at 10% of its fair market value. · The State, County and certain municipalities give credit on the assessed value of an owner-occupied single-family dwelling. · The State allows tax credit on the first $4000 ($26.00) of assessed value. Jefferson County allows tax credit on the first $2000 ($27.00). The cities of Homewood and Birmingham allow a tax credit. · Bring your deed or proof of ownership to any tax assessor location and ask to claim your homestead exemption. · You must own and occupy the property. You are entitled to only one homestead. · The owner who lives on the property must be the one to sign for the exemption · Exemptions must be claimed by December 31 for next tax year
What about senior citizens or disability exemptions?
· To apply for senior citizens or disability exemption you must bring proof of age (birth certificate or drivers license) and most recent Federal and State income tax returns to the Tax Assessor's office between October 1 and December 31 to be eligible for exemption on the next years tax. · You must own and occupy the single family residence. You must be 65 years of age or considered disabled as of October 1. · To apply for the disability exemption, we require 2 proofs of disability (letter from doctor, social security, or company disability letter stating the individual is totally and permanently disabled). · Total or partial exemption is based on income. Anyone over 65 years of age will be entitled to exemption on the State's portion of property tax. · This exemption must be claimed in advance. The current tax bill will still need to be paid. This exemption must be renewed annually. · Person claiming exemption or someone with power of attorney can claim the exemption. Exemptions for Organizations: · Property owned by an exempt entity and used totally and exclusively for religious, charitable or educational purposes shall be exempted from payment of property taxes. · The entire property must be used for the purpose for which application is made. · Religious or charitable ownership or non-profit use does not automatically exempt the property.
What is Current Use Value?
· Farmland, pastureland, and timberland can be taxed at a value per acre based on productivity and soil classification. · Value per acre is assigned by the Alabama Department of Revenue, Ad valorem Tax Division in Montgomery, Alabama.
When do I get a tax bill?
The Jefferson County Tax Collector sends out the tax notices each October 1, due and payable October 1 through December 31 without penalty. If you have an escrow account with your mortgage company a copy of the tax information is sent to them if requested. If you have questions about payments, fees, penalties, or want to pay your tax you should contact the Tax Collector at (205) 325-5500. If you do not receive a bill, it is your duty to go to the Tax Collector's office, find out how much tax is due. If tax is not paid, a lien will occur. Redemption process is available.