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 credit card or debit. A 2.3% convenience fee will be applied. This is not a fee charged by the Revenue Commissioner’s Office, it is charged by Certified Payments as a convenience fee.
- You may come to the Revenue Commissioner’s Office, located in the Macon County Courthouse Annex, 210 N. Elm Street, Tuskegee, Alabama and make payment in person by cash, check, money order, VISA or Mastercard.
- You may pay by mail with check or money order to: Iverson Gandy, Jr., Revenue Commissioner, PO Box 830420 Tuskegee, AL 36083.
- NOTE: Personal checks will NOT be accepted for property tax payments after December 31, 2019
- You may pay by phone by calling 334-724-2603.
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 nonpayment of taxes and can be redeemed by paying prior year and current year taxes.
- 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.
Appraisal and Appeals Process
Once the property is assessed in the Revenue Commissioner’s office the next step is to appraise each parcel. Macon 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 Macon 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, generally most property owners will receive written notice from the Macon 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 the property owner is not satisfied with the results of that meeting, he/she has thirty (30) days to file a written appeal with the Macon 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 that is 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 usually mailed on or 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 over payment 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
- 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 334-724-2603 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 Macon County Revenue Commissioner. Property Taxes are due October 1st of each year and become delinquent on January 1st. Make your tax bill payment to Iverson Gandy, Jr., Revenue Commissioner.
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.
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. (NOTE: All of the exemptions named below are available on primary residence only. Applicant cannot have homestead on another home anywhere else.
A. Regular Homestead
- Based on a 10% assessed value rather than a 20% value
- Must be occupied by a person whose name appears on the deed
- Is available to all citizens of Alabama who own and occupy single family residences, including manufactured homes, as their home and use this property for no other purposes.
- Exempt up to $4000 in assessed value for State taxes and $2,000 in assessed value for County taxes up to 160 acres of land on State and County taxes only. (No exemption on school or municipal taxes)
- Must live in the house on October 1st of the year claimed
- Must file before December 31st of the year purchased
- Must refile 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.
B. Exemption for Over 65 or Total Disability
Act 2013-295 changed the income requirement for receiving a Homestead Exemption for taxpayers age 65 or older. Exemptions may be based on income shown on either Federal or State Income Tax Return. How do you qualify?
- Taxpayers who are age 65, or older, with a combined annual net taxable income of $ 12,000 or less, according to the latest Federal Income Tax Return, are exempt from taxes on their Homestead.
- Taxpayers, age 65 or older, with an annual adjusted gross income of less than $ 12,000, according to the most recent State Income Tax Return, are exempt from all state taxes, and county taxes up to $ 5000 in assessed value. This applies to the taxpayer’s homestead only.
- Taxpayers who have permanent and total disability are exempt from all taxes on their Homestead. There is no income requirement for a Disability exemption.
Proof of disability may be a statement of such disability from a government agency, such as Social Security Administration or the Armed Forces, or a disability pension or annuity from a private company, or by submitting written affidavits by two physicians licensed to practice in Alabama, provided that at least one of these physicians is actively providing treatment directly related to the permanent and total disability. For an affidavit to be used by a physician certifying a person’s disability, CLICK HERE.
This new Homestead Law provides that anyone who knowingly and willfully gives false information for the purpose of claiming a homestead exemption, or for the purpose of assisting another person in claiming a homestead exemption, shall be ordered to pay twice the amount of any ad valorem tax which would have been due, retroactive for a period of up to 10 years, plus interest at the rate of 15 percent per annum, from the date the tax would have been due.
These Exemptions must be claimed in the Revenue Office by December 31 of each year. Failure to do so by December 31 may result in losing your total exemption for the next tax year. If you have any questions, please contact the office at 334-724-2627 or 334-724-2603.