Property tax is a tax on real estate and other property you own. Local governments typically assess property tax based on where the property is and how much it’s worth. Real Property tax is called an ad valorem tax. Cars, machinery and business equipment might be subject to personal property tax.
If you own property in Mobile County you will owe a yearly property tax, unless you have an exemption for age or disability. These taxes are paid in arrears. That means that you always pay the taxes for the previous year. It is a little confusing because in Mobile County the tax year begins in October of the previous year and ends in September of the next year. And taxes can’t be paid until October of the current year
For example, the 2019 Tax year began in October 2018 and ended in September 2019. The 2019 taxes are due and payable Oct 1, 2019 and considered delinquent after Dec 31, 2019. And that is when you can run into problems if the taxes are not paid.
In Alabama, property taxes help fund public services, like education, fire protection public health, road construction and maintenance and other public services. According to the Mobile County Tax Assessor’s website almost 47% of the property taxes collected are for public education.
Your property tax is calculated based on the appraised of your property for Fair Market Value which is determined by a county appraiser. After a Fair Market Value is established, the assessed value is determined based on what the property is used for.
If you live on the property you can claim a homestead exemption which will lower your property tax the tax assessment based on 10% of the Fair Market Value. If you don’t claim homestead exemption the tax base is 20%. You should claim homestead exemption as soon as you get the deed to your home. Even if your taxes are collected with your loan payments, you still have to physically take your recorded deed to the tax assessor to claim the exemption.
If you don’t pay your property taxes you could be subject to fines, fees and ultimately an auction where the property can be sold in a tax sale. You can still redeem your property within but you will be responsible to pay the tax sale buyer the initial delinquent tax and cost plus any additional property tax the buyer has paid during the three year redemption period. You are also required to pay the buyer interest on the sale amount. The interest rate on tax sale property is 12% annually compounded daily. So the redemption will cost you much more than the original taxes.
You can check on your real property taxes by contacting the Mobile County Tax Assessor’s office at 251) 574 8530. Learn about taxes, get forms, and pay your taxes at https://www.mobilecopropertytax.com/ or visit any of the five Tax Assessor’s offices located in Mobile County.