The Baldwin County Courthouse in Bay Minette, Source: Wikipedia
Property taxes are a long-standing tradition in the United States. When you buy real estate, you assume ownership over the property itself and its inherent value.
However, you also assume responsibility for paying taxes on that property’s assessed value. Each state has its own unique set of rules governing how property is valued and taxed.
Most counties use the millage rate in Alabama to determine what percentage of your property’s value will be taxed each year.
This guide will cover every detail you need to know about property taxes in Baldwin county.
Overview of Baldwin County
Baldwin County is located on the Gulf Coast of Alabama, just the eastern side of Mobile Bay. Baldwin Area was named after a Connecticut resident who had never visited the county or even the state of Alabama.
Abraham Baldwin was a kind of genius, graduating from Yale University at the age of 17 after studying both theology and law. Abraham Baldwin was elected to the Georgia State Legislature in 1784, after serving as an educator and chaplain in the American Revolution, after which he came to Georgia to practice law.
The area has a rich history, with many sites and monuments you can visit. It was an essential part of World War II and the Civil War.
Baldwin County is also home to one of the oldest settlements in Alabama, Dauphin Island. This small island has been inhabited since the early 18th century and is located in the Gulf of Mexico, just off the coast of Alabama. The island is over fifteen miles long and over a mile wide.
The county has a population of over 223,234 people living within its borders. The average home value in Baldwin County is $350,000. This gives the area an above-average amount of property wealth.
What Are Property Taxes?
To raise revenue, property taxes are a form of tax levied by local governments on private property. Property taxes are calculated by multiplying a property’s assessed value by the tax rate.
The resulting bill is called a tax digest, which is mailed to the property owner. Property tax bills can be a hassle to deal with, especially in large cities where it can be hard to keep track of all the taxes you owe.
The Personal Property Tax in Baldwin County is used to pay school systems, public transportation, infrastructure, and other municipal government programs. Property tax revenue is typically spent on local projects and services rather than going to the federal or state budgets.
The Baldwin County Property Tax is imposed directly on the property, unlike other taxes confined to an individual. The property’s present owner is responsible for any unpaid property taxes, which might result in a lien on the property’s title.
Transferring or selling the property and filing for bankruptcy has no effect on tax liens. Delinquent property taxes can lead to additional fees and interest recorded on the property title.
The Baldwin County Tax Board may confiscate delinquent property and sell it for sale at a public tax foreclosure auction, often at a price considerably below market value, in cases of extreme property tax default.
The sale proceeds are used to pay off the property’s tax debt first, with any remaining funds going to the original owner.
How Are Baldwin County Property Taxes Calculated?
To calculate your property taxes in Baldwin county, you need the following three factors to determine your taxes:
The Assessment Rate or Ratio
The assessment rate or ratio is the ratio of the total assessed value of a property to its market value. The assessment rate or ratio is used to determine the tax rate that will be applied to each property. The assessment rate or ratio is also known as the assessment percentage.
Alabama Legislature established the following ratios:
Class I: 30% Assessment Rate – Public Utilities
Class II: 20% Assessment Rate – All other Properties not included in Class I or III (includes apartments, commercial, industrial and multi-family properties).
Class III: 10% Assessment Rate – Single-family, owner-occupied homes or condos, farm, and
Class IV: 15% Assessment Rate – Motor Vehicles
The Taxation (millage/levy) Rate in Your Area.
The tax rate is also known as the millage rate. An Example of a Tax Rate Calculation: Assume that the total value of all taxable property in a city is $1,000,000,000.
The total value of all exempt property is $200,000,000. If the tax rate is set at 1%, then the city will collect $10,000,000 in taxes.
The Tax Credit for Exemptions, if eligible.
Exemptions must be claimed through the Revenue Commission Assessment Department.
Formula For Calculating Property Taxes
Step 1: Market Value x Assessment Rate % = Value
Step 2: Value x Millage/Levy = Tax
Step 3: Tax — Exemption = Property Tax
(The formula above does not apply to farm or forest lands receiving the benefit of “Current Use” values)
Market Value = $50,000
Class III Assessment Rate = 10%
Millage/Levy = 28 mills (.028)
Regular Homestead Exemption = $45 (based on % of assessed property)
Step 1: $50,000 x 10% = $5,000
Step 2: $5,000 x .028 = $140.00
Step 3: $140.00 — $45.00 = $95.00
Total Property Tax = $95.00
Property Tax Rates in Baldwin County, Alabama
Baldwin County, Alabama, has an annual median property tax rate of $557 for a $177,200 house. A property tax rate of 0.31 percent is collected on average by Baldwin County.
Only two thousand three hundred of the 3143 counties in the United States collect less in property taxes than Baldwin County, which has one of the nation’s lowest median property tax rates.
Baldwin County inhabitants pay, on average, 0.99 percent of their yearly income in property taxes. For property taxes as a proportion of median income, Baldwin County ranks 2583rd among the 3143 counties.
How to Reduce Your Property Tax Bill in Baldwin County
Property taxes are one of the most significant expenses that homeowners have each year. They can also be reduced if you know how to do it.
In Baldwin County, Alabama, there are several ways to reduce your tax bill.
Homestead exemptions lower the taxable value that you pay. There are some restrictions with these exemptions, and you will want to review them with your tax attorney before applying.
Ask Your County Assessor For A Partial Exemption
Another way to reduce your property tax is to ask your county assessor for a partial exemption. The exemption amount is based on the square footage of your home and the number of people living in it.
There are several other exemptions available, including one for disabled veterans and one for members of the military.
In addition, some jurisdictions have passed laws that provide additional exemptions from forfeiture. Before applying for these exemptions, make sure you do your research so as to know the requirement.
The Benefits of a Homeowners Association (HOA)
A homeowners association can be a great way for property owners in a neighborhood to come together to set rules and regulations that apply to them as a group, in addition to the county government.
If you’re considering joining an HOA, here are some of their most common benefits:
Lower Property Taxes
If a homeowner has a lot of land, they will pay more in property taxes than someone who owns less property. An HOA can help those who own larger properties by pooling their money together so they can fight for lower property tax rates.
Lower Insurance Premiums
If all residents in an area are required to have insurance, the risk of a large number of people seeking treatment at once is spread out over a larger population. This reduces the cost for everyone.
Baldwin County has a unique property tax system that can confuse many residents. By following the tips outlined in this article, you’ll be able to avoid any issues with your taxes and save time and money!
For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us today. If you’re looking to buy a house in the Baldwin county neighborhood, read about Fairhope Home Buying Tips & Closing Costs in Fairhope, AL.