New tax bill due in 2008

Albertville property owners will not see the effects of increased tax rates on bills due by the end of the year.Voters in Albertville agreed Tuesday to raise property tax rates by 6 mills. The new rate will take effect with the tax year beginning Oct. 1. That means the bill won’t come due until late 2008.

Joey Masters, Marshall County’s revenue commissioner, said he has notified Montgomery that Albertville raised its tax rate.

The increase will last for 30 years and will give Albertville a total taxation rate of 46.5 mills. That translates to $465 in taxes annually for a $100,000 home with a homestead exemption.

Masters said there has been confusion about when the tax hike takes effect.

“We’ve had a bunch of calls asking if it will be on the ’07 tax bill,” he said. “This tax rate will only go on the ’08 tax bill.”

Taxpayers could see their bills be a little higher than they would be simply with the rate increase. Despite statewide candidates’ promises during the 2006 campaign to change the practice, Alabama still conducts annual reappraisals of property.

“The county has nothing to do with that,” Masters said. “That’s all implemented by the Revenue Department in Montgomery.”

Masters said his office divides the county into four sectors and uses data therein as a guide for determining property values.

Masters said Albertville’s action of raising property taxes to fund school improvements is rare in Alabama.

“I’ve heard of cities changing the millage rates,” he said. “I don’t know of any that have specifically put it just for the school system.

“I know in the past some have changed because a city just needed more revenue.”

Arab’s property tax rate increased after a statewide vote to force cities and counties to collect at least 10 mills for education. Arab residents will see the effect of the tax increase on their tax bills for 2007.

Masters was pleased to see Albertville voters’ decision Tuesday.

“I’m glad to see that it did pass in Albertville because they need a new school,” he said.

School Superintendent Ric Ayer said the Board of Education and City Council soon will discuss the future bond issue that will fund the renovation and reconstruction of Albertville High School.

By David Clemon, Sand Mountain Reporter

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