Doster L. McMullen
714 Greensboro Avenue, Room 108
Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
Phone: (205) 464-8240
Tuscaloosa County Courthouse
714 Greensboro Avenue, Room 108
Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
Hours: 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through FridayView Map
What to do when you buy real property.
If you have purchased new property please take the following steps to ensure your property is properly assessed and you receive your proper exemption:
Step 1: Record your deed in the Probate Office.
Step 2: Bring a copy of the recorded deed to the Tax Assessor’s Office to claim any exemptions for which you may be entitled.
Step 3: Report all ownership and/or address changes promptly to the Tax Assessor.
Why does it seem to take so long for the tax bill to reflect the change of ownership from seller to buyer?
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 on Oct. 1 of any given year must be in the name of the owner whose name was on record for the property on October 1st the year before. (For example if you purchased property in January of this year, the tax bill you receive will still list the previous property owner’s name.) The current property owner is responsible for paying taxes on all property, regardless of who the bill is addressed.
What is homestead exemption?
Homestead exemption is a statutory exemption that must be timely claimed or lost. It is a tax break a property owner may be entitled to if he or she owns a single-family residence and occupies it as their primary residence on the first day of the tax year for which they are applying. There are several different homestead exemptions but none should exceed 160 acres.
Do I have to resign for homestead exemption every year?
Only individuals receiving an exemption based on age or disability with or without income limitations must resign each year.
I am 65 years old or older – do I still have to pay property taxes?
According to Act 2013-295, owners who homestead their property and are 65 or older may be exempt from all tax on the primary residence and up to 160 acres when the annual taxable income for the person claiming the exemption and that of his or her spouse (on the most recent federal income tax return) is not more than $12,000.00. Owners must sign up to receive this exemption and reclaim the exemption each year between the dates of October 1st – December 31st.
Contact the Tax Assessor’s Office for more information regarding other age-based exemptions if you do not qualify for the one listed above.
I am on disability – do I still have to pay property taxes?
According to Act 2013-295, owners who homestead their property and were retired because he or she is 100% permanently and totally disabled may be exempt from all tax on the primary residence and up to 160 acres. Owners must provide proof of disability when they sign up to receive this exemption and individuals must reclaim the exemption each year between the dates of October 1st – December 31st.
Contact the Tax Assessor’s Office for more information regarding other disability-based exemptions if you do not qualify for one listed above.
What is 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 Tax Assessor’s Office if he or she wishes to claim current use. You may obtain a current use application at any time of the year, but under the law they must be filed with the Tax Assessor’s Office no later than December 31, for it to apply in the following tax year. After current use has been granted, the owner who made the 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. Current use must be removed from the property at least 2 years prior to changing the use of the property. Otherwise the owner will be assessed for no more than 3 years (called a roll back) at the market value or selling price, whichever is greater.
If I have a manufactured home on my property am I required to have a current decal?
All manufactured homes (formerly mobile homes) must have a current decal to show compliance with ad valorem taxes. In order for the decal to be issued when property taxes are paid, the mobile home and land must be in the same name(s) as the land and not be rental property. If the mobile home and land are in different names or if it is rental property (unless it’s listed on the deed) the decal must be purchased in the License Commissioner’s Office. If you purchase property with a mobile home located on it or if you add a mobile home to any property and the mobile home is older than twenty (20) years from the current calendar year, a copy of the Bill of Sale is needed. For newer models, a Title/Application for Title is needed.
What to do if you add or remove improvements
The law requires that owners, or their agent, must come to the Tax Assessor’s Office no later than December 31st, to sign a new assessment officially reporting any improvements made or removal of structures or features from their properties completed on or before October 1st 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 normal maintenance type items would not require a reassessment.
I think my property value is incorrect – what can I do?
Any taxpayer that feels the value on their property is incorrect may file a protest form with the Tax Assessor’s Office or the Appraisal Department. The taxpayer will be contacted when the protest is reviewed and a hearing with the Board of Equalization will be set up at that time.
If a property owner is now deceased what happens to the property?
A surviving owner, if applicable or an heir to the property should come to the office in a reasonable amount of time to remove the deceased owner(s) name(s). If there is a probated will please bring it in at that time.
How can I add / remove a name on my property?
Typically a new deed will be needed for adding or removing names on a property. Depending on the situation other legal documents may be allowed.
Please contact the Tax Assessor’s Office for further information.
Do I need to contact the Tax Assessor’s Office if I move?
Yes, you should contact the Tax Assessor’s Office as soon as possible to report any changes regarding property in Tuscaloosa County.