Tax Assessor - Bessemer Division
Charles R. Winston, Jr.
Welcome to the Assistant Tax Assessor web site. It is our responsibility to collect data for the Bessemer Cut-Off District and maintain all exemptions and real and personal tax records for this division as per the Code of Alabama. Alabama Law requires that all changes including ownership, improvements, address change and the use of a property, be reported to our office. Alabama Law also grants homestead exemptions for owners that live on the property and exemptions for those homeowners who live on the property who are age 65 and over or permanently and totally disabled. These exemptions must be claimed in our office and the disability and age 65 and over exemptions must be renewed annually. Business owners must assess their business personal property (equipment, furniture, aircraft, etc.) each year. We also maintain the GIS (Geographical Information Systems) maps for the area.
Real Property -- Alabama Law requires that all changes in property be reported to the Tax Assessor. This includes ownership, address, additions or improvement to the property or removal of improvements. Also, any change in the use of the property should be reported. These changes are made by filing an assessment, at no charge, with your Tax Assessor. After purchasing or obtaining title to any real estate you should immediately take your deed to the appropriate Assessor's Office.
Personal Property -- All business owners must annually assess their business personal property. Personal property in a business is briefly described as all equipment, furniture and fixtures used in the operation of the business, including, but not limited to aircraft, leased equipment, add-on equipment to vehicles, such as tanks, lifts, etc. If you own a business, you must file an annual return with the Tax Assessor, Personal Property Division, or see that your accountant files a Personal Property return for you.
Homestead Exemption -- All owner-occupied, single family dwellings are eligible for a homestead exemption. This exemption allows taxes to be calculated using 10% of the value of the property. This change alone may reduce your taxes by half, if the current assessment rate is Class II and taxed at a 20% assessment rate. This exemption must be requested when you file your assessment in order to be applied to the next year’s tax bill.
Senior Citizen and Disability Exemptions -- Owners of single-family, owner occupied residences who are age 65 and over, or who are retired because of a disabled, may qualify for exemptions. To claim the exemption, you must come to our office and bring the following:
· Current Tax Notice (if available), copy of your state and federal income tax returns (We must have the actual returns, not just the W-2 forms. If you have lost your copy of your income tax return, you can obtain a duplicate by calling this toll free number, 1-800-829-3676. If you did not file a return for the previous tax year, you must complete an affidavit in our office.)
· Proof of age (birth certificate or driver's license).
To qualify under the disability exemption, you must have retired because of a total and permanent disability.
Individuals who have been awarded permanent and total disability from the armed services, any governmental agency or a private company and that entity provides a pension or annuity stating the reason as a permanent and total disability, may be eligible for property tax exemptions. Proper documentation must be provided in order for the exemption to be effective for the next year’s tax bill.
Exemptions can be claimed throughout the year. However, you must be age 65 or older or disabled as of October 1st of the same year that you make application. Taxes are paid in arrears so any exemption will be effective on the next years' tax bill and does not apply to the tax bill currently due.
The person claiming the exemption must come into our office to sign the assessment, or must have given power of attorney to the individual making the assessment.
Current Use (Farm or Timber land) - If your property consists of five or more acres and you farm the property for crops, timber of livestock, etc., you may be eligible for a reduction in value and tax. There are restrictions in some situations. Contact our office for details.
Other Services - The Tax Assessor's Office can furnish tax maps, tax estimates and information to locate deeds to your property if they are filed. We can also furnish tax ownership and address information.
Jefferson County Tax Assessor's Office - Bessemer Division
Room 209 Courthouse
Bessemer, AL 35020
Maps & Directions
Bessemer - (205) 481-4125
Fax - (205) 481-4128