December deadline looms for property tax and homestead exemptionsPublished 11:48am Saturday, December 22, 2012
There are only four business days remaining to pay property taxes and recertify homestead exemptions.
Dec. 31 is the last day to recertify or apply for homestead exemptions, and property taxes will be delinquent Jan. 1.
“This is a very serious time of year,” said Revenue Commissioner Linda Harris. “I know it’s Christmas, but everybody needs to pay their taxes.”
Harris said all property taxes are due by Dec. 31, but not everyone needs to recertify their homestead exemption.
“Only people who are disabled or 65 years or older need to recertify,” Harris said. “Anyone who has regular homestead exemption does not need to do anything.”
As previously reported in The Outlook, those remaining who need to recertify should bring their driver’s license and their 2011 tax return.
Those who are retired due to permanent and total disability must bring documentation from the Social Security Administration confirming the disability or two letters from physicians licensed to practice in Alabama.
Harris said between 700-800 Tallapoosa County residents still need to recertify their homestead exemption or they will not receive an exemption in 2013 and will be responsible for all taxes due on their homestead in 2013. She said there are also serious consequences for not paying property taxes before the Dec. 31 deadline, including paying a $5 penalty and interest.
Harris said anyone who fails to pay property taxes by mid-January will receive a notification in the mail. In mid-February the revenue office will send out a certified letter for those homeowners whose taxes remain delinquent, and final notices will be sent in March.
In April, properties with delinquent taxes will be advertised for sale, and they will be sold in a public auction at the county courthouse in May.
“I try to impress on people do not wait until the last day or you’re going to wait two hours to pay your taxes,” Harris said.
She said those wishing to avoid coming in person to pay taxes may pay online at www.tallapoosataxandprobate.com. She said payments may be mailed, but must be postmarked by Dec. 31.
Harris said the revenue office will be closed Dec. 24-25, but will open Dec. 26 for the rest of the week. The revenue office will also be open Dec. 31. Their hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Those with questions can call the office at 256-825-7831.