Dear Property Owner,
Congratulations on your recently acquired real estate in Henry County. There are some things you will need to do to ensure that you will not be paying more property taxes than required by law.
It is your responsibility to assess this property into your name. Please bring this letter into the Henry County Revenue Commissioner's Office (located in the Henry County Courthouse) as soon as possible or call our office to properly make assessment.
At the time you assess the property into your name, you will need to file for a homestead exemption if you are living on the property. Please bring a copy of your deed to assess the property in your name and apply for any exemptions you may be entitled to. If you are 65 years of age, or Retired due to total and permanent disability, you are eligible for a Special Homestead Exemption. Proof of age (for those over 65) must be submitted (i.e. Driver's License, Birth Certificate). Proof of being retired due to total and permanent disability must be submitted from a pension or annuity from a private company or a state or federal agency. Both those over 65 and those retired due to disability, must have proof of the taxable income, of both them and their spouse, as shown on their latest Federal Income Tax Return.
Special homestead exemptions must be claimed each year from October 1 through December 31. Once you are signed up for the special exemption, an application is sent to you to claim the exemption for the next year. Other homestead exemptions, once claimed, remain in effect for as long as you own and occupy the home as your permanent place of residence. Only one (1) homestead exemption can be claimed per family; (i.e. if you own a home in Florida and claim a homestead exemption there, you are not entitled to claim a homestead exemption here).
If you are entitled to a homestead exemption, it is very important that you comply with the instructions herein and claim the exemption. Failure to do so is financially unwise since property taxes on a house and lot without a homestead exemption are more than twice as much as one with a homestead exemption.
If the land you purchased was valued under Current Use, you must re-apply for Current Use Valuation under your name.
You are responsible for keeping your mailing address current and reporting any changes to your property. Should an existing building be torn down or removed from the property, or should a room be added to the house or other buildings on the property you are required to report these changes to the Revenue Commissioner's Office between October 1 and December 31. Failure to do so could result in paying property taxes on buildings which are no longer subject to taxation or having to pay a penalty for not reporting changes to your property.
Property taxes become due on October 1. Property taxes which are not paid by December 31 will be subject to a late charge and penalty. You are responsible for payment of your property taxes. If your mortgage company has an escrow account and you pay your taxes in with your house payment it is your responsibility to ensure that your mortgage company pays your property taxes no later than December 31 each year.
Property taxes in Alabama are collected in arrears. This simply means that when the tax lien attaches on October 1, those taxes will not be paid on until the following October 1. The property will remain assessed in the name of the person you purchased it from until the next tax lien date (October 1). We will gladly put the property in care of you for tax notice purposes when you make assessment.
As a reminder, it is your responsibility to assess the property into your name, claim a homestead exemption (when applicable) and pay or ensure that the property taxes are paid no later than December 31.
I hope this information will be helpful to you as a new property owner. Should additional information be required, my staff and I will be more than happy to assist you.