General Information

Responsibility of the Revenue Commissioner

The Revenue Commissioner is responsible for collecting the ad valorem taxes on real estate as well as personal property. Taxes are due and payable each year on October 1 and become delinquent January 1. Any questions regarding the payment of ad valorem property taxes should be directed to this office.

Property Classification

Class I – Utility – 30%

Class II – All Other Property – 20%

Class III – Farm Property, owner-occupied – 10%

Millage Rates

A mill is one-tenth of one cent (0.001). When all of the taxing authorities millage requests are added together, you can calculate a total tax bill. The amount of the taxes to be paid is determined by multiplying the appropriate millage rate by assessed value less the proper exemptions. If you own and live in a residence, you would be taxed on 10% of appraised value. All other property would be taxed at 20%, except Class 1, which is taxed at 30% of the appraised value.

In Geneva County, your tax bill is based on millage rates applied for the following purposes:

AgencyCodetotalsmills
COUNTY 11 32.1 -
BLACK 81 39.1 7
COFFEE SPRINGS 22 39.03 6.93
GENEVA 33 44.1 12
HARTFORD 41 38.9 6.8
MALVERN 51 39.6 7.5
SAMSON 62 39.1 7
SLOCOMB 71 38.93 6.83
TAYLOR 91 37.1 5
STATE GENERAL 2.5
STATE SCHOOL 3
STATE SOLDIER 1
TOTAL STATE: 6.5
COUNTY GENERAL 8
COUNTY ROAD & BRIDGE 4
HOSPITAL 2.6
TOTAL: 14.6
CO WIDE SCHOOL 8
SCHOOL DIST 3
TOTAL SCHOOL: 11
Ad Valorem Taxes

Property (ad valorem taxes) are taxes on real and/or personal property. Real property includes land and improvements. Personal property refers to items which are movable or not permanently attached to the land. Some examples of personal property would be furniture, fixtures, tools and equipment used in the daily operation of a business.

Taxes are due and payable each year on October 1 and become delinquent January 1.

Business Personal Property

All persons, corporations, partnerships, etc., owning business personal property 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 will result in a 10% penalty and fees being added to the tax bill.

Business personal property consists of machinery, furniture, fixtures, tools, supplies, etc. Some business personal property could also be leasehold improvements such as counters, signs, walls, racks, etc. Leased property should also be reported to ensure that its owner can be identified. All other personal property is appraised by the Appraisal Department for taxes, based on the cost new, less allowance for depreciation due to age. Recently the State of Alabama Department of Revenue ordered that field audits be performed on all business personal property. This is to ensure that all businesses are reporting correctly and this will also ensure equalization of all business personal property.

Taxes become due on October 1, and are delinquent after December 31, the same as ad valorem tax on real property. However, delinquent personal property taxes are handled differently. 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. (Personal Property sold for taxes cannot be redeemed).

Permanent Trailer Tags

Effective October 1, 2006, any owner of a truck trailer, tractor trailer, or semi-trailer who chooses to purchase a permanent trailer plate, must annually assess the property in accordance with Rule 810-4-1-03 in the county where the truck trailer, tractor trailer or semi-trailer is based. The trailers must be reported annually on the Form ADV-40 and the corresponding property tax will be paid annually between October 1 and December 31 to the collecting official of the county where the trailer is based.

Exemptions

Homestead

REGULAR HOMESTEAD applies to single family property owners under 65 years of age (Owner MUST occupy dwelling). The exemption is $4,000.00 assessed value on State, and $2,000.00 assessed value on County. You must come in and assess the property the first time only. This procedure is required one time and is on automatic assessment each year thereafter, unless a change has been made to the property, and if ownership has changed.

Exemptions for 65 & Older, or Retired Due to Disability

  • Taxpayers who are age 65 or older are exempt from property taxes on their home and up to 160 acres of land, provided the combined net taxable income of the taxpayer and spouse is $12,000 or less on the Federal Income Tax Return and $12,000 or less on the Alabama Income Tax Return.
  • Taxpayers who are permanently and totally disabled are exempt from property taxes on their home and up to 160 acres of land. Income is not a factor for the disability exemption.
  • These exemptions must be recertified each year.

Note that the income requirement applies to age 65 and is based on the most recent Federal and State Income Tax Returns filed.

Proof of the taxpayer being 100% totally disabled may include social security and the  receipt of a pension or annuity due to disability from a private company or a state or federal governmental agency; or, the written certification of the taxpayer being retired because of total and permanent disability from two physicians licensed to practice medicine in Alabama to be approved by the Revenue Office.

These Exemptions must be claimed in the Revenue Commissioner’s Office by December 31. Failure to do so by December 31 may result in losing your total exemption for the next tax year.

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 only used 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.

After current use has been granted, the owner who makes the application for current use does not have to reapply for current use 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 value

The current use application 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 on or after October 1, but no later than January 1, for that tax year.

Assessing Real Property

  1. 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.
  2. Assess property in the Revenue Commissioner’s office between October 1 and December 31 of each year. When assessing for the first time, you will be able to apply for any exemptions to which you may be entitled to claim. Once this exemption is granted it is not necessary to reapply for the exemption as long as such person continues to live in the home where the exemption is granted. 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.
  3. If you are 65 years of age or disabled, you must claim one of the special homestead exemptions each year. Failure on the home owner’s part to do so will result in the property being changed to Class II property and the owner losing his homestead exemption for the year involved.
  4. 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.
  5. Property tax bills are mailed each year in late October. These tax bills are mailed to the property owner or the specified person named by the property owner. Property taxes run a year in arrears with the tax year beginning on October 1st through September 30th of the following year. Your bill may be mailed to the previous owner the year you purchased the property, depending on the date of purchase. You may call the Revenue Commissioner’s office to check on your bill or for a better understanding of this. Report any address changes promptly.
  6. If your mortgage company has agreed to pay your property taxes, you must contact them about paying this bill. The Revenue Commissioner’s office cannot be responsible for keeping up with each property owner’s mortgage company.
  7. Property Taxes are due October 1st of each year and become delinquent January 1st.

Adding or Removing Improvements

The law requires that owners, or their agents, must come to the Revenue Commissioner’s Office, no later than December 31st, to sign a new assessment officially reporting any improvements or any removal of structures or features from their property completed on or before October 1st of that year.

Examples of improvements that are assessable would include new structures, new 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 property would constitute an assessable improvement.

Mapping and Appraisal

Act 160 of the Alabama Legislature created the statewide reappraisal program and specified that all property is to be appraised at fair and reasonable market value. The mission of the reappraisal and mapping program in each county is to discover, list and value all property at its fair and reasonable market value using mass appraisal methods.

The first step in the appraisal process is to properly identify the property or properties to be valued. In order to do this, deeds, wills, recorded subdivisions and other vesting instruments must be reviewed and mapped after they are properly filed in the Probate Office. Tax maps are generated from these discoveries. A tax map is a map drawn to scale and delineated for lot lines, property lines, or both with dimensions of areas, identifying numbers, letters, or names for all lots or parcels of land. 

The field review and appraisal should begin as soon as the mapping of each vesting instrument is complete. Then the organizational structure of the appraisal department must take over and perform all tasks associated with meeting the goals of property equalization. All standards have been set by the Alabama Department of Revenue, who is directly responsible for all work. The task of reappraising property lies within the county, and is subject to approval of the Department of Revenue who can issue an order for a county to undertake a reappraisal.

Appeals Process

If you feel your property value is too high, you may file a protest with the Geneva County Board of Equalization. BOE meetings are held each year after valuation notices have been mailed.

County GIS

Maps that display property boundaries and dimensions are maintained in the Revenue Commissioner’s Office. These maps are based upon legal descriptions of property transferred by deed and recorded in the Probate Judge’s Office. Taxpayers can significantly improve the accuracy of these maps by providing copies of surveys used when transferring ownership. A parcel identification number is used to link ownership records, tax maps and assessment records. while the primary purpose for these maps is to assist in the location and valuation of real property. The maps are available for public use along with other property record information maintained in the Mapping Division. Copies of maps and record cards can be obtained for a small charge.

In order to appraise property at fair market value it must first be located and identified. GIS (Geographic Information System) is computerized technology that combines mapping and information, stored as data, to generate maps and reports, to provide a planned and systematic approach to collecting, managing, and providing details to help improve the process of ad valorem tax maintenance. GIS uses geographic display of maps with smart point, lines, and areas, while incorporating a database that is tied to the features of the map.

We also provide a tax mapping website that can be viewed by the public. It can be found at http://www.alabamagis.com/Geneva/Frameset.cfm or by clicking the GIS link icon near the top of this page. This site provides information that is linked to a taxpayer’s property in Geneva County, which includes ownership, property address, appraised value, latest deed book and page, tax map, etc. For more information on GIS Mapping, call the Appraisal office at 334-684-5717.

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Any citizen who has a county road maintenance request is to contact the Road and Bridge Department at (334) 684-3450 or send an email to our office by clicking this link: gcrbinfo@genevacounty.org.  The County Highway Department operating hours are Monday through Thursday, 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  After hours, non-emergency requests may be left on the answering service.  Emergency requests should call 911.