Property Taxes Looming

By: Rayne McKenzie
By: Rayne McKenzie

We’re just four days away from the deadline to pay your property taxes.

After that time you will start accruing late fees that range in the hundreds of dollars.

Attorney General Troy King recently passed a law requiring revenue officials in Alabama to honor refund requests for past years. The law is making provisions to give some residents bigger refunds, and now is the time to see if you qualify for some of that money.

Traffic is picking up in the Houston County Revenue office right now with property taxes due at the end of this week.

"This is the time of year when people know taxes are due and they're coming in to pay them," says Houston County Revenue Commissioner Starla Matthews.

This year, Attorney General Troy King passed a law allowing more people to qualify for ad valorem tax rebates.

Revenue officials encourage residents who think they may qualify to call the office.

"You might qualify for refund if you're over 65 and have other people on your deed and disabled. You may have been getting a partial exemption based on income, but it’s not based on income anymore," explains Matthews.

Next year, you can expect a property tax hike; recently an increase in rates was approved to better support local school systems.

"Schools receive a one mil increase in property taxes, [which] amounts to a $10 dollar increase on a $100,000 dollar home," says Revenue Supervisor Stephanie Weed.

The property tax increase brings Houston County School funding up to par with other schools around the state.

Property taxes are due December 31st, and you're in the clear as long as they are postmarked by that date. However, starting in January you will start accruing late fees and every two weeks after that more charges will be applied. So it’s better to get them paid on time.

If you think you qualify for an ad valorem tax rebate you can contact the Houston County Revenue Office at 677-4712.


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