Appraisal

How is the appraised value of my home/property determined?
What if I disagree with the appraised value of my home/property?
How often is my property re-appraised?
Is there a difference between "fair market value" and the "appraised tax value"?
If I build or add on to my house, should I notify the Revenue Commission?
What is Current Use?

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How is the appraised value of my home/property determined?

The Revenue Commissioner's Office employs one of the most experienced staffs in the state to do the appraisal work. The process for determining your appraised value requires that the following steps be completed:

1. The appraiser makes an on-site inspection of the subject property,

2. If new structures exist, the appraiser measures and lists construction details of the new building according to the guidelines as listed in the Alabama Department of Revenue Appraisal Manual. The appraiser also notes changes to pre-existing structures and measures any additions accordingly.

3. The land value is determined by what the market shows its value to be according to its size, location, topography, and classification (ie., agriculture, residential, commercial, or industrial).

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What if I disagree with the appraised value of my home/property?

In any event that a taxpayer disagrees with an appraised value, he/she can first speak to the appraiser, who will be more than willing to listen to and discuss any questions the taxpayer may have. Providing evidence such as a private appraisal can help. If not satisfied, an appointment can be made with the Board of Equalization. Under any further disagreements, the taxpayer may appeal the Board's decision to the Henry County Circuit Court.

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How often is my property re-appraised?

Act 160 of The Code Of Alabama (1975) created the statewide property reappraisal program and made the Alabama Department Of Revenue responsible for the supervision and implementation of statewide reappraisal. This was done in response to a Federal Court Order to equalize values in Alabama. We analyze the market annually. Full re-appraisals are completed every 4 years using mass appraisal techniques involving multiple statistical studies. 25% of the county is physically reviewed per year during this 4 year cycle.

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Is there a difference between "fair market value" and the "appraised tax value"?

No. The laws of the State direct the Revenue Commissioner to appraise all land for taxes at its fair market value. The "fair market value" is defined as the "monetary worth" of a property with a prudent buyer not pressed to buy and a knowledgeable seller not pressed to sell. In mass appraisal, appraised tax values do not always equal their indicators of market value. Assuming that there is enough available market data present, values should fall between 98%-102% of market value.


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If I build or add on to my house, should I notify the Revenue Commission?

Yes. It is the responsibility of the taxpayer to notify the Revenue Commissioner of any newly constructed or remodeled buildings. This should be done before October 1 each year. It is also to the advantage of the taxpayer to notify the Revenue Commissioner when tearing down or removing any existing buildings so as not to continue paying taxes on those structures.

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What is Current Use?

In 1978 the Alabama Legislature passed an act enabling the valuation of farm and timberland at its current use value instead of market value. The 1975 Code of Alabama defines market value and current use values as follows:

Market value - The estimated price at which the property would bring at a fair voluntary sale.

Current use value - The value of eligible taxable property based on the use being made of that property on October 1 of any taxable year; provided, that no consideration shall be taken of the prospective value such property might have if it were put to some other possible use.

The law enacted in 1978 did not prescribe a set method to determine current use value. In 1982 the legislature amended Title 40-7-25.1 of the 1975 Code of Alabama to include a definite formula for the calculation of current use values.

Many people ask the question "Why is there a current use value for agriculture land separate from market value?" The general opinion was that a farmer should not be penalized by paying higher taxes on farm land that has a market value based on the speculative use of the property for uses other than farm land. Often times the market value of farm land in or close to a city or other developing area, will have a higher market value because the highest and best use of the farm land may be for a subdivision, shopping center, industrial site or other use which brings a higher value than farm land. Current use valuation allows the valuation of the farm land to be based on the actual use of the property rather than what the use might be if the property were sold or developed.

Attorney General Opinions re: Current Use.

The following list of AG Opinions regarding Current Use may be viewed on the Attorney General website, use the numbers below to find the opinions specific to Current Use:

#79-00026 #80-00535 #81-00490 #82-00158 #82-00364 #82-00453 #83-00164

#84-00303 #86-00064 #86-00116 #87-00252 #87-00285 #87-00324 #88-00013

#88-00014 #88-00125 #90-00034 #90-00321 #95-00285 #95-00332