Madison Co. Tax Collector Sends Reminder for Property Taxes, Includes New Non-Payment Policy

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama (WAFF) -Have you received a notice for your property taxes in the mail?

Nearly 190,000 owners and business owners are opening them this week in Madison County.

“In this office we have always sent this courtesy to let you know what the taxes will be for the year. And it’s also a good indication if you have a mortgage, what your mortgage company is going to pay into your escrow account on your behalf, ”said Valerie Miles, Madison County tax collector.

But this reminder of courtesy seems different from that of years past.

First, this is not an invoice, but a warning that your property taxes are due on October 1st.

But at the bottom of the letter, you’ll see some bright red text, which alarms some residents.

“I saw a notice, a legal opinion, of intent to file a tax lien and I’m like wait, what? Joyce Ball lives in North Huntsville, she says she was surprised to find the letter in the mail.

She is one of 173,215 Madison County homeowners who received her.

“There is no explanation here why there is a letter addressed to me with a notice of intention to file a tax lien on my property for taxes that are not yet due. Do people who have a car payment get a letter from a collection agency that says we’re going to take your car, if you don’t make your next payment that’s basically what it is? Ball said.

But the new tax collector, Valerie Miles, says it’s there because it’s a new policy that she wants everyone to know about.

“Instead of losing your property for non-payment of taxes, in this situation you are basically receiving a low interest loan that gives you an opportunity, there are always late fees, there are always costs. interest, but it is a certificate of lien instead of a deed. , “she explained.

Last year, 115 people lost their property for non-payment.

Other counties have followed suit, but this is the first year for Madison County.

Another alarming element is the rise in property taxes. Miles says it all because of the skyrocketing property values.

“With the low inventory in the houses. Supply and demand drives those prices up, ”Miles said.

“I just applied for an age-based benefit and I thought they were going to go down and they would go up a bit, so I imagine everyone’s taxes will go up a bit,” Ball said.

Property taxes are due in October, but you have until December 31 to pay them before you face late fees.

If you want to dispute the increase in your taxes, contact the county tax assessor’s office.

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Esther L. Steinbach

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