The purpose of this web site is to provide you with answers to questions we are asked many times during the year. This web site will also acquaint you with Alabama Law concerning property tax.
In Madison County, the responsibility to assess and collect taxes is handled by two offices, a tax assessor and tax collector.
I sincerely hope you will find this brochure very informative. If by chance your questions are not answered in this booklet, please don't hesitate to call my office at any time. It is indeed a privilege to serve you.
Property (Ad Valorem) Taxes are taxes on Real and/or Business Personal Property. Ad valorem means "according to value". Real property includes land and improvements (buildings). Business Personal Property refers to furniture, fixtures, tools, and equipment used in the operation of a business. These are items which are removable or not permanently fixed to the land. Airplanes are included whether or not used in a business.
New property owners often rely on their title company,real estate agent or other representative to properly record and assess their property. However, the responsibility is yours, as the owner, to take all of the necessary steps to record and assess your property. The steps are as follows:
1. Record your deed in the Probate Office.
2. Assess the property in the Tax Assessor's Office and claim any exemptions entitled to you prior to December 31 for property purchased on or before October 1.
3. If the mortgage company has agreed to pay your taxes, mail a copy of your assessment to the mortgage company.
4. Report any change of address promptly to the tax assessor and tax collector.
Each taxpayer is required byAlabama Law (Code 40-7-1) to provide a complete list of all property owned.The person acquiring property is responsible for reporting to the Tax Assessora complete legal description of the property. All assessments are based upon ownership and status as of October 1 of each year.
Title 40, Chapter 7, Code of Alabama 1975, as amended, requires that every business report to the county taxing official each year a complete list of all business personal property owned by the taxpayer on October 1 of the tax year. This itemized list should include all fixed assets used in the operation of the business including but not limited to: furniture, fixtures,computers, printers, office equipment, tools, machinery, unlicensed motor vehicles, and vehicle add-on equipment.
A business personal property form may be obtained in the Tax Assessor's Office or from our website.
Owners of farmland, pastureland or timberland may apply for current use valuation of that property, when used only for the purposes specified. Any taxpayer interested must make an application with the county assessing official between October 1 and December 31 of any given year.
After current use has been granted, the owner who made the application does not have to reapply for current use for subsequent years. If the property changes ownership, the new owner will have to file an application for current use or their taxes will be based on fair market value rather than current use value.
If taxable property valued at its current use value is converted to a use not qualified for current use valuation, the property may be subject to a "rollback tax". Contact the Tax Assessor's Office at (256) 532-3350 for additional information.
Alabama law requires that owners, or their agent, must come to the Tax Assessor's Office no later than December 31 to sign a new assessment officially reporting any improvements made to or any removal of structures or features from their property, on or before October 1 of that year.
Examples of improvements that are assessable would include new structures or additions, swimming pools, extensive repairs, remodeling, or renovations; adding a fireplace, extra bath, patio, deck, carport, garage, etc. However, such things as re-roofing, minor repairs, and painting (normal maintenance type items), would not require reassessment.
If you believe your property value is too high, you may file a written protest with the Madison County Board of Equalization (BOE). Property owners are given 30 days to file an appeal after receiving written notice of change in valuation.
Upon your appeal, you will be contacted by a county appraiser to review your valuation. If, after this review you are still not satisfied with your valuation, a hearing will be set for you to formally meet with the BOE to present information you believe justifies a change in value.
Following this hearing, you will be notified of the decision of the Board of Equalization. Appeals may be made to Circuit Court within 30 days from the adjournment of the BOE.
In order to preserve your right to carry the appeal to Circuit Court, taxes must be paid by December 31 or a bond filed in CircuitCourt in double the amount of taxes due.