Tax Payment Options
Taxes are due every October 1 and are delinquent after December 31st. Payment may be made as follows:
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.
- PAY PROPERTY TAX ONLINE HERE. This gives you the ability to pay your property taxes at your convenience, anytime day or night and with 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 credit card, debit card, or E-check. A processing fee of $2.50 or 2.5% of your total, whichever is greater, will be applied. This is not a fee charged by the Revenue Commissioner's Office. It is charged by IMS Enterprises, Inc. as a processing fee.
- You may come to the Revenue Commissioner's Office and make payment in person by cash, check, money order, VISA or Mastercard.
- If your taxes are escrowed, ask your mortgage company to pay your bill.
- You may pay by mail with check or money order to: Tammy Farr, Revenue Commissioner, P.O. Box 310 Wedowee, AL 36278.
Appraisal & Appeals Process
- Once the property is assessed in the Revenue Commissioner's office the next step is to appraise each parcel.
- Randolph County has approximately 36,500 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.
- The counties in Alabama have changed to an annual reappraisal basis, but they must still meet their equalization sales ration compliance standards of the appraised value to sales price in each valuation zone between 98% and 102%.
- In Randolph 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 Randolph County Appraisal Office if there has been a change in their property value. Once the property owner receives this notice, he/she has thirty (30) days to file a written appeal with the Randolph County Board of Equalizaion. Every year the Revenue commissioner will publish in the local newspaper a notice setting out the times that the Board of Equalization will be in session. 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.
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 mailed on October 1 and become delinquent January 1. 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 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.
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
New property owners often rely on their title company, real estate agent or the representative to properly record and assess their property. The final responsibility is still yours, as the new owner, to see that all the necessary steps have been completed.
- 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 Commission 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.
- Report any change of address to Randolph County Revenue Commissioner.
- Property Taxes are due October 1st of each year and become delinquent January 1st. Make your tax bill payment to Tammy Farr, Revenue Commissioner.
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 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 deduction that a property owner may be entitled to if he or she owns a single family home, which is their primary residence, and occupies it on the first day of the tax year (Oct. 1) for which they are applying. There are four types of homestead exemptions.
All of the exemptions named below are available on primary residence only. Applicant cannot have homestead on another home anywhere else. Residence must be occupied by person or persons whose name appears on the deed.
1. Regular Homestead (H-1)
2. Exemptions for taxpayers age 65 or older (H-2)
- Available to all residents of Alabama who own and occupy a single family residence,including manufactured homes, as their home and use this property for no other purpose.
- The amount of the exemption is $4,000 in assessed value for state taxes and $2,000 in assessed value for county taxes.
- Must live in the house on October 1st of the year claimed.
- Must file before December 31st of the year purchased for the following tax year.
- Must re-file claim if any changes are made to deed or changes are made in occupancy of residence.
- Additions or modifications to any structures located on property must also be reported to tax office.
(NOTE: Over 65 and disability exemptions must be verified annually either in person or by mail or exemption will be removed.)
3. Exemptions for taxpayers age 65 or older H-3
- This exemption is based on most recent (Alabama Income Tax Return.)
- Exempts state and county taxes up to $5,000 in assessed value.
- Income limitation of $12,000 adjusted gross income (taxpayer and spouse) as shown on the most recent Alabama Income tax Return, or some other appropriate evidence, or who are retired due to permanent and total disability (regardless of age) or who are blind (regardless of age or whether such person is retired.)
- Proof of age and income required.
4. Exemptions for taxpayers permanently and totally disabled (H-3) Disabled
- This exemption is based on most recent (Federal Income Tax Return).
- Income limit not exceed $12,000.
- Totally Exempt on state and county taxes.
- Proof of age and income required.
5. Exemption for taxpayer age 65 or older (H-4) Regardless of Income
- Taxpayer must be 100% permanently and totally disabled.
- Disability status must be evidenced by a copy of the original award letter from Social Security or a current letter from the Social Security Office stating disability. Veterans must bring a letter from the Veterans Administration stating 100% disability.
- Documents must state the month and year that disability began.
- There is no age limit or income limit to receive this exemption.
- You can also prove disability by furnishing a statement from two different physicians (one doctor must be your current physician) attesting to your disability.
- Physician's letters, Veterans Administration, documentation from the Social Security Administration, and retirement letters are acceptable.
- Exempts total assessed value of the state's portion of taxes and up to $2000 in assessed value of county tax.
- Regardless of Income
- Proof of age is required, may be established by a drivers license, birth certificate, insurance forms, church records, etc.
- Exemptions, regardless of which type, must be applied for before December 31st to decrease ones taxes for the following year; remember taxes are paid in arrears.
Should you have additional questions about ad valorem taxes in Randolph County,please contact our office at (256) 357-4343.