Appraisal and Appeal Process

Once the property is assessed in the Revenue Commissioner's office the next step is to actually appraise the property. Tallapoosa County has approximately 34,000 separate parcels of land that must be individually appraised for tax purposes. Each parcel of land must be described on a property record card. Characteristics about land and building are listed and valued separately and become the basis for establishing fair market value. This information is found in the appraisal office. At least once every three years all counties in Alabama are required by federal court to reappraise all property in each county. In Tallapoosa County taxes that are due on October 1 are based on the latest reappraised values. There are other factors, such as annual sales to appraisal ratio falling below 85 percent, that can also trigger a reappraisal. In a reappraisal year, property owners will receive written notice from the Tallapoosa County Appraisal Office of the market value placed on their property. Once the property owner receives this notice he/she has ten days to file a written appeal with the Tallapoosa County Board of Equalization. Every year the Revenue Commissioner will publish in the local newspaper a notice setting out the times that the Board of Equalization will be in session. Any property owner who feels that the value on his/her property does not reflect fair market value may file a written appeal requesting a hearing before the Board. During the hearing before the Board, the property owner may present any evidence that he feels justifies a change in the value of his property. As a result of the hearing the Board may either lower, raise, or leave the value the same. The owner will be notified by mail the results of the hearing. If after the hearing before the Board of Equalization the property owner is not satisfied, the property owner has thirty days to file an appeal with the Circuit Court. In order to preserve his right to carry the appeal process to Circuit Court, taxes must be paid by December 31, or a bond must be filed in the Circuit Clerks office in double the amount of taxes due.

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