Assessment & Appraisal Information
My purpose in preparing this information is to provide a useful service to you in response to questions I am asked during the year. I sincerely hope that this information about your property will help you to be aware of your rights and responsibilities as a property owner.
After carefully reading this information, if you have any questions or need additional information, please call either me or the Baldwin County Revenue Office between 8:00 A.M. B 4:30 P.M., Monday – Friday at the following:
Fairhope Office 334-928-3002 Ext. 140
Single Tax Colony 334-928-8162 (For FSTC Lessees)
Foley Office 334-943-5061 Ext. 140
Bay Minette Office 334-937-9561 Ext. 256
(877) 459-6540 Toll Free
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. It also includes airplanes and corporation shares of stock.
The Revenue Commissioner (James P. Nix, Jr.) is responsible for determining property value which must, by law, be set according to fair and reasonable market value. Your property is probably not for sale, but the local appraiser must determine 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.
WHEN YOU BUY PROPERTY
|Step 1.||Record Your Deed in the Probate Office. Many new property owners often rely on the title company, real estate agent, or other representative to properly record their deed and assess their property. However, the final responsibility is still yours, as the owner, to see That all the necessary steps that have been taken.|
|Step 2.||File An Assessment Return with the Assessing Division. Present your recorded deed for assistance in completing your assessment return. This can be done in Fairhope, Foley, Bay Minette or by mail at: P.O. Box 1389, Bay Minette, AL 36507.
|Step 3.||Contact The Collecting Division to make sure taxes are current.
|Step 4.||Mail a Copy of the Assessment Return to your mortgage company if it has agreed to pay your taxes.|
|Step 5.||Report Any Change of Address to the Collecting Division at P.O. Box 1549, Bay Minette, AL 36507.|
|Step 6.||Property Taxes Are Due Oct. 1 of each year and become delinquent Jan. 1. Make payment of tax bill to the Collecting Division.|
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: Why does it seem to take so long for the tax bill to reflect the change of ownership from 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 due Oct. 1 of any given year must be in the name of the owner of record as of the preceding Oct.1.
Q: How do the County and State arrive at the value of my house?
A: All property appraisals are made in accordance with the requirements and standards of the State Department of Revenue and under its Supervision using the guidelines and procedures of the Alabama Appraisal Manual. Baldwin County has 95,000 separate parcels of land that must be individually appraised for property tax purposes. Under a mass appraisal, methods and techniques differ from those of fee appraisers. Regardless of the method used, however, fair and reasonable market value is the objective.
Q: How often will my property be appraised?
A: Alabama law requires that all real estate in Baldwin County be reviewed, updated if necessary at least once every five years. However, if certain indicators show that property values are not equal, the State Department of Revenue and/or Federal Court can order another county-wide revaluation. The purpose of a county-wide revaluation program is to equalize the value base by valuing all properties as of the same date.
Q: If I make an addition to my home or put a new building on my property, when should the Assessing Division be notified?
A: By the following December 31. By doing so, you will avoid a 10% penalty imposed by law.
Q: How do market value and tax levies affect my property taxes?
A: The Revenue Commissioners office does not establish the property tax rate that actually determines how much you pay in taxes. The property taxes that we pay for schools, city and county services, etc., are based upon a tax levy (millage rate) set annually by the County Commission and the twelve municipalities in the county. If the market value of your property remains constant and if tax levies remain constant so will your property taxes. If, however, there is a change (increase or decrease) in either the market value of your home or in the tax levy, your property taxes will change accordingly.
Q: If I do not think that the estimated market value of my home is fair, is there anything that I can do?
A: Of course. You can file a written appeal with the Baldwin County Board of Equalization. This is a relatively simple procedure. It costs you absolutely nothing to file. Just send your letter of appeal to the Revenue Commissioners office and they will be happy to forward a Board of Equalization form to you at the appropriate time. The deadline for filing a written appeal is the last Monday in April for all property taxes due the following October 1.
Q: If I buy a condominium for an investment, is the classification at 10% or is it doubled to 20%?
A: If you bought a condominium that is used as your primary residence, it will be classified at 10% and a Homestead Exemption of up to $44.00 can be deducted from your gross tax. If you bought the condominium as and it is used as a second home (and is not a rental unit), it can be classified at 10%. If the unit is used as a rental, it is classified at 20%. If title to the property is held as a corporation or partnership, it will be classified at 20%. Title can be held in a trust and can be classified at 10% provided it is not a rental unit.
Calculating Your Property Taxes in Baldwin County, AL
You need three factors to determine your taxes:
1. The Assessment Rate or Ratio (AL Legislature established the following ratios):
Class I: 30% Assessment Rate – Public Utilities
Class II: 20% Assessment Rate – All other properties not included in Class I or III (includes apartments, commercial and industrial properties, duplexes, triplexes and quadriplexes)
Class III: 10% Assessment Rate – Single family, owner-occupied homes or condos, farm and timber properties
Class IV: 15% Assessment Rate – Motor vehicles
2. The taxation (millage/levy) rate in your area. Taxation rates are computed in “mills” (tenth part of a cent). Click here for Millage Rate Chart.
3. The tax credit for exemptions, if eligible.
General Formula for Calculating Taxes:
Market Value x Assessment Rate % = Value x Millage/Levy = Tax – Exemption = Property Tax Total
(The formula above does not apply to farm or forest lands receiving benefit of “Current Use” values)
Market Value = $50,000
Class III Assessment Rate = 10%
Millage/Levy = 28 Mills (.028)
Regular Homestead Exemption = $45 (based on % of assessed property)
$50,000 x 10% = $5,000 x .028 = $140.00 – $45.00 = $95.00 (Property Tax Total)
1 mill is 1/10 of a cent = .001
State Rates County Rates
General 2.5 mills General 5.0 mills
Soldier 1.0 mills Road/Bridge 2.5 mills
School 3.0 mills Fire 1.5 mills
Total State 6.5 mills Health 0.5 mills
Total County 9.5 mills
District 1 School Rates District 2 School Rates
County-Wide 4.0 mills County-Wide 4.0 mills
School Special 5.0 mills School Special 5.0 mills
District 1 1.0 mills District 2 3.0 mills
Total 10.0 mills Total 12.0 mills
Total State, County and School Rates for District 1 = 26 Mills
District 1 Hospital = 2 mills
Total District 1 With Hospital Rates = 28 mills
Total State, County and School Rates for District 2 = 28 mills
District 2 Hospital = 2 mills
Total District 2 With Hospital Rates = 30 mills
Municipality Millage Rates
*Incorporated areas of the county add the additional 28 mills (state, county & schools) to the rates listed below for total rates applied to your property tax.
Bay Minette (03) 12.5 mills + 2.0 mills (hospital)
Daphne (04) 15.0 mills
Elberta (05) 5.0 mills
Fairhope (06) 15.0 mills
Foley (07) 5.0 mills
Gulf Shores (08) 5.0 mills
Loxley (09) 8.0 mills (6.0 Loxley (09), 2.0 Hospital (09H))
Robertsdale (10) 5.0 mills
Silverhill (11) 10.0 mills
Summerdale (12) 5.0 mills
Orange Beach (13) 4.0 mills
Spanish Fort (14) 7.0 mills (5.0 Spanish Fort (14), 2.0 Hospital (14H))
Magnolia Springs (15) 5.0 mills
Perdido Beach 4.0 mills
Baldwin County AL Real Estate Tax Tips by Chuck Barnes REMAX Gulf Properties