Morgan County has 55,000
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
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 tax
In Alabama property is classified
I Utility 30%
II All Other Property
III Agricultural Property
Occupied Residential Property 10%
IV Motor Vehicles
You multiply the appraised value of property by the proper classification to determine
the assessed value.
Taxes are based on assessed value less exemptions,
which you qualify for. For example, if you are eligible, apply for Homestead
Exemption 1, 2, 3 or 4 before December 31 of each beginning tax year.
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 or she 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 of each year.
A Homestead exemption 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. The following are the four types of homestead
Regular Homestead is available to all citizens of Alabama who own and
occupy a single-family residence, including mobile homes, as their home and
use this property for no other purposes. The amount of the exemption is $4,000.00
in assessed value for state taxes and $2,000.00 in assessed value for county
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 $5,000.00 in assessed value. Those who are permanently and totally disabled
or blind regardless of income are entitled to this exemption also.
Exemption 3 is for persons over age 65 or who are totally disabled. This exemption
is from all property taxes if their taxable income is less than $7,500.00.
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 assessed
value 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 two 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 (must be worded as
applied for). People who are disabled may receive service without coming to
the courthouse by calling 351-4690.
Exemptions should be applied for before December
31 of each year based upon status (owner occupied, age 65, and Totally Disabled
or “Totally and Permanently Disabled”) of property and claimant before October
1. In October, a reclaim form is mailed to the property owner who has qualified
before, allowing for the claim to be renewed by mail.
COUNTY MILLAGE RATE
In Morgan County your tax bill is based on
millage rates applied for the following purposes:
SOLDIER FUND 1M
SCHOOL FUND 3M
GENERAL FUND 7.2M
ROAD & BRIDGE FUND
base amount is included in all totals.
of Decatur 18.6M
City Board of Education 3.6M
County Board of Education
County Volunteer Fire Department
City Board of Education 11.3M
County Board of Education
County Volunteer Fire Department 3M
Other Municipalities and Locations (Total 37.4M)
County Board of Education
County Volunteer Fire Department
The amount of taxes to be paid is determined
by multiplying the appropriate millage rate by assessed value less the proper
Millage rates are set by the county commissions
and other taxing agencies, in response to:
of the county general fund;
of others who receive property tax revenues.
A mill is one-tenth of one cent (.001). When
all of the taxing authorities’ millage requests are added together, you can
calculate a total tax bill.
For example, if you own and live in a residence
valued at $40,000, you pay taxes on 10 percent of value or $4000. Without
exemptions, 37.4 mills would mean you owed $4000 X .0374 = $149.60.
All persons, corporations, partnerships, etc.
owning business personal property, aircraft, commercial mobile or portable
units 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.
All business personal property is appraised
by the County Revenue Commissioner for taxes, based on the cost new and allowance
for depreciation due to age.
Taxes become due on October 1, the same as ad
valorem tax on real property. Delinquent business personal property taxes
are handled differently, however. Beginning January 1, when the taxes become
delinquent, the Revenue Commissioner must proceed to collect the taxes due
or sell the property to satisfy the lien. Business
personal property sold for taxes
cannot be redeemed.
(Formerly Mobile Homes)
The Alabama Manufactured Home Act (91-694), signed into law July 18,
1991, changed the way manufactured homes are treated for tax and revenue purposes
in Alabama. Under the Act those manufactured homes located on the owner’s
property and not held for rental or lease will be carried on the real property
tax rolls in the Revenue Commissioner’s Office. All others must be registered
in the License Commissioner’s Office.
Proof of ownership, along with a description
that includes size, year made and model of manufactured home should be brought
to the Revenue Commissioner’s Office to make an assessment. The owner will
receive a decal to display on the right front corner as proof that taxes are
paid. Homestead exemption may be claimed if you own the manufactured home
and live in it as your principal residence as of October 1 of the year you
are applying for.
Proof of a title (if 1990 or later model) and
that sales tax has been paid must be provided at time of assessing.
Owners of farmland, pasture land 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 or she wishes to claim
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 no later
than December 31, 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 current
use for subsequent years. However, if the property ownership is transferred
or the name is 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.
Industrial Abatements are also available. To qualify, the owner or
the private user of an industrial property must file with the County Revenue
Commissioner a copy of the resolution from the city or the county governing
body granting the abatement of non-educational ad valorem taxes.
TO DO IF YOU ADD
OR REMOVE IMPROVEMENTS
The law requires that owners, or their agent,
must come to the Revenue Commissioner’s Office no later than December 31st
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
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 such things as re-roofing, minor repairs and painting,
(normal maintenance type items), would not require a reassessment.
If you feel your property value is too high,
you may file a written protest with the Morgan County Board of Equalization.
Mail protest to P.O. Box 696, Decatur, AL 35602.
In a re-appraisal year, property owners are
given 10 days to file an appeal after receiving written notice of change in
valuation. For current year Board of Equalization filing deadlines you may
call (256) 351-4694.
Upon your appeal, you will be contacted by a
county appraiser to review your valuation. If, after this review you are still
not satisfied with your valuation, a hearing will be set for you to formally
meet with the Board of Equalization to present information you feel justifies
a change in value.
Following this hearing, you will be notified
of the decision of the Board of Equalization. You may appeal to Circuit Court
within 30 days from the date the Board of Equalization notified you of their
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.
TAXES ARE NOT PAID
Each year the parcels upon which taxes are
not paid are 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 lien, 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 or her 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
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 tax sale
and upon delivery to the Revenue Commissioner the original Certificate of
After a tax deed has been issued, redemptions
can no longer be made in the Revenue Commissioner’s Office, and the property
owner must resort to a court of law to reclaim his or her property.
FOR COLLECTING TAXES
Taxes are collected on the following schedule
for the year that ended on September 30th:
October 1 Tax Due
January 1 Tax Delinquent
February Citation Fee Added
May Tax Sale
are due every year the first of October and are delinquent after the 31st of December.
may be made as follows:
may come to the Revenue Commissioner’s Office at the courthouse and make payment
in person by cash, check, or money order.
may pay by mail, by mailing a check or money order to: