Tax Payment Options
Taxes are due every October 1 and are delinquent after December 31st. Payment may be made as follows:
Pay property tax online HERE. 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 3% 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. You may come to the Revenue Commissioner's Office located at 50 Court Square, Room 101 of the Probate Building, Carrollton, AL 35447 and make payment in person by cash, check, money order, VISA or Mastercard.
You may pay by mail with check or money order to: Michelle Kirk, Revenue Commissioner, P.O. Box 447, Carrollton, AL 35447.
You may pay by phone by calling 1-888-583-2443.
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Reasons you may not have received a tax bill:
Failure to report a new address.
Failure to record your deed in the probate office.
Failure to pay a prior year tax bill; if so, the property was sold for non-payment of taxes and may be redeemed within 3 years of sale. Contact Revenue Commission office for redemption amount.
If mortgage company pays the bill, tax notice could have been sent to them.
If property was purchased between October 1 and September 30, property will be listed in the previous owner's name.
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Appraisal and Appeals Process
Once the property is assessed in the Revenue Commissioner's office the next step is to appraise each parcel. Pickens County has approximately 22,500 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 buildings are listed and valued separately. This becomes the basis for establishing fair market value. This information is found in the appraisal office.
All counties in Alabama have changed to an annual reappraisal basis, but must still meet their equalization sales ratio compliance standards of the appraised value to sales price in each valuation zone between 98% and 102%.
In Pickens County, taxes that are due on October 1 are based on the state approved values as of September 30th of the prior year. Once the values are approved, property owners will receive written notice from the Pickens County Appraisal Office if there has been a change in their property value. Once the property owner receives this notice, he/she can schedule an informal meeting with the county appraisers. If property owner is not satisfied with results of that meeting, he/she has thirty (30) days from the date of the notice to file a written appeal with the Pickens County Board of Equalization. Any property owner who feels that the value on his/her property does not reflect fair market value may file a written appeal requesting a hearing before the Board.
During the hearing before the board, the property owner may present any evidence that he feels justifies a change in the value of his property. As a result of the hearing the Board may either lower, raise, or leave the value the same. The owner will be notified by mail the results of the hearing. If after the hearing before the Board of Equalization the property owner is not satisfied, the property owner has thirty days to file an appeal with the Circuit Court. In order to preserve his right to carry the appeal process to Circuit Court, taxes must be paid by December 31, or a bond must be filed in the Circuit Clerks office in double the amount of taxes due.
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How Taxes are Collected
Property (Ad Valorem) taxes apply to real and/or business personal property.
Each taxpayer is required by Alabama Law (Code 40-7-1) 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 Commissioners Office should be furnished a correct mailing address for all properties.
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). The Revenue Commissioner's Office is responsible for determining property value which must, by law, be set according to "fair and reasonable market value."
Business personal property refers to items that are used in any business and are movable or not permanently fixed to the land. Furniture, fixtures and equipment used in a business 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 assessments by the 3rd Monday in January will result in a 10% penalty and fees added to the tax bill. Personal property is appraised by the Personal Property Appraiser for taxes, based on the cost new and allowance for depreciation due to age.
Beginning January 1, when taxes become delinquent, the Revenue Commissioner must proceed to collect the business personal property taxes due or sell the property to satisfy the lien. Business personal property sold for taxes cannot be redeemed.
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. All assessments and bills are based upon ownership and status as of October 1 of each year.
Your property is probably not for sale but the local appraiser must set the value of the property as if it were "sold" in an "arm lengths" transaction between a "willing buyer and a willing seller," neither being under any pressure to buy or sell.
Taxes are not pro-rated. Total amount of taxes must be received before account can be posted. If your mortgage company has paid taxes and you receive a delinquent notice, contact mortgage company immediately to 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 will be issued to the original payer of taxes.
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Adding or Removing Improvements
The law requires that owners, or their agent, must come to the Revenue Commissioner'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 a reassessment. Generally speaking, any work done that would more than nominally increase the value of a 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. To claim homestead, property must be owner occupied, single family dwelling, and must be claimed when assessing the property. You should contact this office at 205-367-2040 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.
Report any change of address to Pickens County Revenue Commissioner. Property Taxes are due October 1st of each year and become delinquent January 1st. Make your tax bill payment to Michelle Kirk, Revenue Commissioner.
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A. CURRENT USE:
Owners of farmland, pastureland or timberland that is producing agricultural products, livestock or wood products for sale to the general public 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/she wishes to claim current use. The current use application may be obtained from the Revenue Commissioner's Office at any time of the year, but under the law it must be filed with the Revenue Commissioner's Office on or after October 1, but no later than December 31, for the following 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 changes hands, 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
A Homestead Exemption is a tax break a property owner may be entitled to if he or she owns a single-family residence or Mobile Home and occupies it as their primary residence on the October 1 of the tax year for which they are applying. The total number of acres exempted cannot exceed 160 acres and must be adjacent to the home site.
The following are the four types of Homestead Exemptions:
Regular Homestead is available to all citizens of Alabama who own and occupy a single-family residence, including manufactured home, as their primary residence and use this property for no other purposes. The amount of the exemption is $4000 in assessed value for state taxes and $2000 in assessed value for county taxes.
Homestead Exemption 2 is for a resident of this state who is 65 years of age or older, whose annual adjusted gross income is less than $12,000 as reflected on their most recent State Income Tax Return. This exemption is for all State taxes and County taxes not to exceed $5,000 in assessed value.
Homestead Exemption 3 is a total exemption from all property taxes on the principal residence and 160 acres adjacent thereto of any resident of this state who is 65 years of age or older, provided the net annual taxable income for the person claiming the exemption and that of his spouse is $12,000 or less, as shown on such person’s and spouse’s latest Federal Income Tax Return.This exemption is also for the taxpayer who is retired due to being 100% permanently and totally disabled, regardless of income or age.
Homestead Exemption 4 is an exemption on the principal residence and 160 acres adjacent thereto of any resident of this state who is 65 years of age or older, regardless of income. This exemption is for the total assessed value of state and up to $4000 of assessed value of the county.
Documents needed to file: Over 65 applicants must present to this office proof of age and their most recent Federal and State Income Tax filings.
Disability applicants must present to this office the award letter from the entity that proclaimed them to be retired due to being permanently and totally (100%) disabled. In lieu of this form, the taxpayer must present to this office the written certification from two different physicians that the taxpayer is permanently and totally (100%) disabled. Form letters for this purpose are available in this office.
Legislative Mandated Filing Date Required:
The Code of Alabama requires that these Exemptions must be claimed in the Revenue Office by December 31. All exemptions but the Regular Exemption must be claimed annually by December 31. After the initial claim for the Over 65 or the Disability Exemption, Annual Homestead Exemption Recertification Affidavits will be mailed to each applicant on October 1st of each year. These affidavits must be completed and returned to this office by December 31.
Failure to return these forms by December 31 will result in the loss of the exemption for the next year.
Should you have additional questions about Property Taxes in Pickens County, please contact this office at 205-367-2040.
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