Frequently Asked Questions

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Q: Why does it seem to take so long for the tax bill to reflect the change of ownership from the seller to buyer?

A: In Alabama, the tax year is Oct. 1 – Sept. 30 and we pay property taxes a year in ARREARS. Alabama Law provides that the tax bill dueOct. 1 of any given year must be in the name of the owner on record as of the preceding Oct. 1. It can take as long as two years for the buyer to receive a tax bill in his/her name.

Q: If I make an addition to my home or put a new building on my property, when should theAssessor’s Office be notified?

A: By the following Dec. 31. By doing so, you will avoid a 10% penalty imposed by law.

Q: How often will my house be appraised?

A: AlabamaLaw requires that all real estate in each county be appraised at its fair and reasonable market value. The Alabama Department of Revenue has issued aDirective that Madison County will reappraise all property as of October 1, 2004, and annually thereafter.

Q: If I do not believe that the estimated market value of my home is fair, is there anything that I can do?

A: Yes, you may file a written protest with the Madison County Board of Equalization (BOE), Madison County Courthouse, Room 504, 100 Northside Square, Huntsville, AL 35801.  New values are set each year. Upon completion of setting the values notice is given by legal advertisement in the newspaper for two consecutive weeks. Tax payers have 30 days from the date of the second advertisement to file an appeal. New values are usually set in March or April.

Q: What's the difference between the standard (ADV-40) and short (ADV-40S) versions of the Business Personal Property Return Form?

 A: Those with property exceeding $10,000 in market value should use the standard form. The short form is to be used by those who have submitted the standard, more detailed form in the past and have a property with a market value of $10,000 or less.