Real Property

Ad Valorem Taxes
Business Personal Property
Timetable for Collecting Taxes
Paying Your Property Tax
Property Appraisal
Mapping
How Taxes are Calculated
Assessments
Appeals
How Taxes are Collected
Adding or Removing Improvements
Steps to Follow When Purchasing Real Property
Exemptions
Tax Sale


Ad Valorem Taxes
Property (ad valorem) taxes are taxes on real and/or personal property. Real property includes lands and improvements. Personal property refers to items which are movable or not permanently fixed to land.

The Revenue Commissioner is responsible for determining property value which must, by law, be set according to "fair and reasonable market value." Your property is probably not up for sale, but the local appraiser must set the value of the property as if it were "sold" in an "arms length" transaction between a "willing buyer and a willing seller," neither being under any pressure to buy or sell.


Business Personal Property
Business personal property refers to items that are used in any business and are movable or not permanently fixed to the land. 

All persons, corporations, partnerships, etc. owning personal property are subject to ad valorem tax. The property must be listed and assessed in the Revenue Commissioner's office after October 1, but no later than December 31 each year. Failure to make an assessment by the 3rd Monday in January will result in a 10% penalty and fees being added to the tax bill. Business personal property is appraised for taxes by the Revenue Commissioner based on the cost new and allowance for depreciation due to age. 

Taxes become due on October 1, the same as real property. However, delinquent personal property is handled differently than real property. Please see definitions of Business Personal Property under title "How Taxes are Collected", below. Personal property sold for taxes cannot be redeemed.

 
Timetable for Collecting Taxes
Taxes are collected on the following schedule for the year that ended on September 30:

  • Taxes Due - October 1 
  • Last day to pay taxes prior to *late fees added  - *December 31 
    *To keep from paying late fees, taxes are due and must be postmarked on December 31.
  • Taxes Delinquent (fees & interest added)  - January 1
  • In March, delinquent tax records are advertised for tax sale
  • In May, Walker County holds its Delinquent Tax Sale

Paying Your Property Tax 
If you purchased property during the year, you need to make sure the taxes are paid. The tax bill will usually be in the previous owner's name. You are responsible for taxes on all property you own, no matter how the tax bill may be listed.

Tax notice cards are not required, but a courtesy provided by this office.

Payment may be made as follows:

(a) You may come to the Revenue Commissioner's Office and make payment in person by cash, check, money order, VISA or Mastercard. 

(b) You may pay by mail, with check or money order to: 

Jerry Guthrie
Walker County Revenue Commissioner
1803 3rd Avenue, Suite 102
Jasper, AL  35501

(c) Ask your mortgage company to pay your bill.

(d) Pay property tax online. This gives you the ability to pay your property taxes at your convenience, anytime day or night; the convenience of paying from your home, work or anywhere that you have access to the internet. The online option gives you the opportunity to pay your taxes securely using either your PayPal account, credit card, a debit card or E check. A 2.2% convenience fee will be applied. This is not a fee charged by the Revenue Commissioner's Office, it is charged by PayPal as a convenience fee. An E check payment through Paypal is .007 % up to a maximum of $5.00.

To pay your property taxes online, CLICK HERE.

Payment of delinquent taxes after February 15th must be paid by cash, certified check or money order



Property Appraisal 

Walker County has approximately 50,000 separate parcels of land that must be individually appraised for tax purposes. Each parcel of land must be described on a property record card. Characteristics about land and building are listed and valued separately and become the basis for establishing fair market value. This information is found in the Revenue Commissioner's office.

The Revenue Commissioner notifies the property owner and is responsible for collecting the correct tax for each parcel of land. You pay taxes at the end of the year, October through December.


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Mapping
Maps that display property boundaries and dimensions are maintained in the Revenue Commissioner's office. These maps are based upon legal descriptions of property transferred by deed and recorded in the Probate Judge's Office. Taxpayers can significantly improve the accuracy of these maps by providing copies of surveys used when transferring ownership. A parcel identification number is used to link ownership records, tax maps and assessment records. While the primary purpose for these maps is to assist assessors and appraisers in the location and valuation of real property, the maps are available for public use along with other property record information maintained in the Mapping Division. Copies of maps and record cards can be obtained for a small charge. The Mapping Division staff is available to provide assistance in locating information, but cannot provide help in assembling detailed or large amounts of information such as title searches.

You may access Walker County Alabama real property data, including parcel maps online, through www.walkercountymaps.com.


How Taxes are Calculated
In the state of Alabama, property tax is based on three factors:

  • Property Classification
  • Millage Rate
  • Exemptions


-Property Classification
Your Alabama taxes are calculated using your property's Assessed Value. This is determined by multiplying the Appraised Value by the corresponding Property Classification, which is also known as the Assessment Rate. Taxes are based on assessed value less exemption for which you may qualify.

Appraised Value x Property Classification = Assessed Value

-Millage Rate
Millage is the tax rate expressed in decimal form.

A mill is one tenth of one cent. (.001);

10 mills = one penny or $.01

One hundred (100) mills = ten cents or $0.10

1000 mills = one dollar or $1.00

Once the Assessed Value of your property has been determined, multiply it by the appropriate Millage Rate for the area in which you live. The formula is: Assessed Value x Millage Rate = Unadjusted (less exemptions) Tax Bill. 

Millage rates are determined by the state, County Commission and other taxing agencies in response to the needs of the County's general fund and the needs of other who receive property tax revenues.

 Taxing Authority

 Millage Rate

State General Fund  2.5 mills  (0.025)
State Soldier Fund  1 mill
State School Fund  3 mills
County General Fund  6 mills
County Road & Bridge Fund  3 mills
School General Fund  5 mills
School District Tax  3 mills
School District Tax
(ACT 2005-215 County Only)
 2 mills
    TOTAL STATE, COUNTY & SCHOOL 25.5 MILLS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    



Total Millage Rates by Location

City of Jasper 16.5 mills
City of Carbon Hill 13 mills
City of Cordova 13.5 mills
City of Dora 10.1 mills
City of Eldridge 5 mills
City of Kansas

5 mills

City of Nauvoo 6.3 mills
City of Oakman 6.3 mills
City of Parrish

5 mills

City of Sipsey 6.1 mills
City of Sumiton 6.0 mills
















 

 



Examples:
$100, 000 (Appraised)x(Residential Rate:10%)= $10,000 (Assessed)

$10,000 (Assessed) x .034 (Unincorporated rate)=$340.00 (Tax Amount)


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-Exemptions
After determining your unadjusted tax bill as shown above, subtract any exemptions you might have. This gives you the adjusted tax bill. 

Unadjusted Tax Bill - Exemptions = Adjusted Tax Bill


A homestead exemption is defined as a single-family owner-occupied dwelling and the land thereto, not exceeding 160 acres. The property owner may be entitled to a homestead exemption if he or she owns a single-family residence and occupied it as their primary residence on the first day of the tax year for which they are applying. A home owner can claim four different types of exemption in the State of Alabama. To apply for a homestead exemption, please visit the Revenue Commissioner's office at the Walker County Courthouse. 

Find more information about exemptions HERE.


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How Taxes are Collected
Property (Ad Valorem) taxes apply to real and/or business personal property.

  • Real property includes land and improvements (An improvement is anything that adds value to real property such as a house, swimming pool, garage, barn etc). 
  • Business personal property refers to items that are used in any business and are movable or not permanently fixed to the land. 
  • Taxes are collected one year in "Arrears" - or, as the title of property stood as of October 1 of previous year.
  • Courtesy tax notices are usually mailed before October 1 due date. Should you receive a notice and your Mortgage Company is to pay your tax you should forward the notice to the Mortgage company.
  • If you received a tax notice "In Care" of you, the previous owner held title as of October 1 of previous year.  Your name will be listed first on next year's notice. If you purchased property in the middle of tax year, contact closing attorney as to how your closing was handled and who is responsible for taxes. Taxes are not pro-rated. Total amount of taxes must be received before account can be posted. 
  • Real Estate taxes become delinquent January 1. Interest accrues at 1% per month.  Additional delinquent charges are added after January 1.  
  • If your mortgage company has paid taxes and you receive a delinquent notice, contact mortgage company immediately verify parcel ID number and amounts they show as paid. Verify with Revenue Commission office payment being received and posted. If an overpayment was made, a refund may be issued to the original payer of taxes after investigation and verification is concluded.

 
Appeals
Upon receiving a written notice of change of valuation, the property owner has 30 days from date of notice to file an appeal with the Walker County Board of Equalization. Following your appeal, the Appraisal Department may conduct a field audit, if needed, as well as review any supporting information provided by the taxpayer. Should this process still not result in a value agreeable to the taxpayer, a hearing before the Board of Equalization will be scheduled. Following this hearing, you will be notified of the decision of the Board of Equalization. If, after this hearing, you are still not satisfied, you may appeal to the Circuit Court.

In order to preserve your right to carry the appeal process to Circuit Court, taxes must be paid by December 31, or a bond filed in Circuit Court in double the amount of taxes due.


Assessments
Each taxpayer is required by Alabama Law (Code s40-7-1) to provide a complete list of all property which is owned. The person acquiring property is responsible for reporting to the Revenue Commissioner a complete legal description of the property and should at that time claim any exemptions for which he is eligible. The Revenue Commissioner should be furnished a correct mailing address for all properties. The property owner must report any changes in ownership to the Revenue Commissioner. All assessments and bills are based upon ownership and status as of October 1 each year.


Adding or Removing Improvements
The law requires that owners, or their agents, must come to the Revenue Commissioner's Office, no later than December 31st,  to sign a new assessment officially reporting any improvements or any removal of structures or features from their property completed on or before October 1st of that year. 

Examples of improvements that are assessable would include new structures, new 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 a reassessment. 

Generally speaking, any work done that would more than nominally increase the value of property would constitute an assessable improvement.


Steps to Follow When Purchasing Real Property

  • Record your deed in the Probate Office. Many new property owners often rely on the title company, or other representative to properly record their deed. However, the final responsibility is still yours, as the owner, to see that deeds are recorded and assessed. A new deed would require a new assessment.
  • File an assessment return with the Property Assessment Division of the Revenue Commissioner's Office. Present your recorded deed for assistance in completing your assessment return. Remember to file this assessment promptly after you receive your recorded deed to avoid increased customer traffic that occurs between October 1st - December 31st.  Failure to file an Assessment Return with the Property Assessment Division can generate a penalty. 
  • To claim homestead, property must be owner occupied, single family dwelling, and must be claimed when assessing the property.  You should contact this office for information regarding additional exemption entitlements. Additional information on property tax exemptions are listed below. 
  • You may contact the Revenue Commissioner's Office to make sure your taxes are current. On real property (land & improvements), the buyer can be held liable for any unpaid taxes. The buyer is liable for the entire year's taxes, even if that person bought the property during the year and taxes were prorated with the seller at the time of closing. You are responsible for taxes on all property owned, regardless of how the tax bill is listed.  
  • If your mortgage company has agreed to pay your property taxes, a copy of the assessment sheet should be mailed to the company as soon as it is received. This will give them complete information to request a bill for your property.
  • Promptly report any change of address to the Walker County Revenue Commissioner. 
  • Property Taxes are due October 1st of each year and become delinquent January 1st.

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Exemptions
A. CURRENT USE:
Owners of 5 acres or more of farmland, pastureland or timberland that is producing agricultural products, livestock or wood products may apply for current use exemption. This exemption allows for property to be assessed at less than market value when used only for the purposes specified. 

Any owner of eligible property must make a formal application to the Revenue Commissioner's Office if he or she wishes to claim current use. The current use applications may be obtained from the Revenue Commissioner's Office at any time of the year, but under the law they must be filed with the Revenue Commissioner's Office on or after October 1, but no later than January 1, for that tax year. 

After current use has been granted, the owner who made application for current use does not have to re-apply for subsequent years. However, if the property ownership is transferred or the name has been changed by deed or will, the new owner will have to file an application for current use or his or her taxes will be based on fair market value rather than current use values.


B. HOMESTEAD EXEMPTIONS
(NOTE: All of the exemptions named below are available on primary residence only. Applicant cannot have homestead on another home anywhere else.)

  • Regular Homestead is available to all citizens of Alabama who own and occupy single family residences, including mobile homes, as their home and use this property for no other purposes. The amount of the exemption is up to maximum assessed value of $4,000.00 for state taxes and $2,000.00 assessed value for county taxes.
  • Homestead Exemption 2 is for persons over age 65 whose adjusted gross income is less than $12,000.00 annually. This exemption is for all State and County Taxes up to $5,000.000 in assessed value
  • Homestead Exemption 3 is for persons over age 65. This exemption is from all property taxes if their taxable income is less than $7,500.00. A person totally disabled may become exempt regardless of income or age.
  • Homestead Exemption 4 is for persons over 65, regardless of income. This exemption is for the total assessed value of state tax and up to $2,000.00 of county.

Proof of age, when required, may be established by a driver's license, birth certificate, insurance forms, church records, school records, etc. 

To prove disability, you must furnish a statement from 2 different sources as to your "Total Disability"(Homestead #3) or "Total and Permanent Disability" (Homestead #2).  Physicians' letters, Veterans Administration and retirement letters are all acceptable sources. A form from the doctor and a letter from the Social Security Administration stating  when you became disabled are required.

Exemptions should be applied for before December 31 of each year based upon status (owner occupied, age 65, and "Totally Disabled" or Totally & Permanently Disabled") of property and claimant before October 1 of the tax year following.

Tax Sale
Each year, property for which the taxes are not paid is auctioned off at a public sale at the County courthouse. Individuals who come to the sale and buy the tax liens are issued a "Certificate of Purchase." If no individual buys the tax liens, a Certificate of Purchase is made out and delivered to the State Land Agent.

The property owner has three years from the date of the tax sale to redeem his property from the Revenue Commissioner by paying all taxes and costs. If the property was bought at the tax sale by an individual and the owner does not redeem it within three years from the date of the sale, the individual who purchased the property at the tax sale is entitled to a tax deed.

Property that sells to the state for taxes can be redeemed at any time until the state transfers the certificate to an individual who makes application to purchase from the state. The state can transfer a certificate at any time after the tax sale until the owner redeems the property. If the state transfers the certificate before the three year redemption period is up, the owner may still redeem the property. As stated above, the certificate holder is entitled to a tax deed after 3 years from the date of the sale.

After the tax deed has been issued, redemptions can no longer be made in the Revenue Commissioner's office. However, other options may be available and can be explained by the office staff.
 
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© 2014 Walker County AL Revenue Commissioner's Office