Archived Story

Tax Deadline Looms

Published 8:09pm Friday, December 6, 2013

Only a few weeks of Christmas shopping remain, but another deadline is fast approaching – property taxes are due by the end of the year.

“All taxes are due no later than Dec. 31,” said Linda Harris, revenue commissioner. “After Dec. 31, we impose a penalty.”

While the revenue commission usually brings in about $20 million each year in property taxes, Harris said only about $8.7 million has been collected. This means, there are still a lot of tax bills set to become delinquent Dec. 31.

Harris said that if homeowners have yet to receive a tax bill, there could be a few reasons why.

“If you do not receive a tax bill, your mortgage company may escrow for your taxes and pay them from your escrow account.,” Harris said. “If you are responsible for paying your taxes and do not receive a bill, please call our office and ask why you did not receive a bill. If you have moved we may not have your correct mailing address.”

Also, if the deed for a homeowner’s property has been recorded after Oct. 1, 2012, the homeowner will not receive a tax bill in his or her name until Oct. 1, 2014.

Final notices are sent in March, 2013, and the properties are advertised for sale in April. In May, the properties are sold at a public sale at the county courthouse.

“Individuals who come to the sale and buy the property to which the taxes were assessed are issued a “Certificate of Sale.” The owner of the property has three years from the date of the tax sale to redeem his/her property by paying all taxes, delinquent fees, and interest”

If the property is not redeemed within three years, the purchaser will be issued a tax deed. After the tax deed is issued, the previous owner of the property must resort to a court of law to reclaim the property.

Harris also reminded homeowners that after a deed is recorded, the property must be assessed.

“If you do not assess your property, a 10 percent penalty may be applied to your taxes,” Harriss said. “Property is assessed year round, but to receive your exemption for the following year, you must apply for all exemptions before Dec. 31 of each year.”

The following homestead exemptions can be applied for:

Regular Homestead Exemption is available to all citizens of Alabama who own and occupy a single family residence, including mobile homes used as a residence on property owned by the taxpayer. The amount of the exemption is $4,000 in assessed value for state taxes and $2,000 in assessed value for county taxes. This commonly is a $43.00 exemption.

Act 48 Homestead Exemption is for persons over age 65, who own and occupy a single family residence and (his or her spouse’s) taxable income as shown on Federal Income tax return is less than $12,000.00. This exemption provides a total exemption from ad valorem taxes on the principal residence. This exemption is also for homeowners who are retired because of permanent totally disability regardless of income or age.

Act 91-A Homestead Exemption is for persons over 65 with a taxable income more than $12,000 as shown on (his or her spouse’s) Federal Income Tax Return, but less than $12,000 adjusted gross income as shown on Alabama Income Tax Return, or who are blind (regardless of age or whether such person is retired) as defined by the Code of Alabama, Section 1-1-3 (visual acuity of 20/200 or less).

Act 91-B Homestead Exemption is for persons over 65 regardless of income. This exemption is for the total assessed value of state tax and up to $2,000 in assessed value of county tax.

Homestead exemptions apply only to the “Principal Residence,” and cannot apply to more than one residence.

For these exemptions, proof of age is required and may be established by a driver’s license, birth certificate. Proof of disability is required by documentation from the Social Security Administration, Veterans Administration and two physician’s letters. Please call the Revenue Commissioner’s office with any questions that you may have regarding assessment of property, homestead exemptions, and the collection of property taxes. We can be reached at (256) 825-1077 or (256) 825-7831. Please take the time to visit our public web site at www.tallapoosacountymaps.com and tallapoosapropertytax.com

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