HOW CAN I CLAIM HOMESTEAD AND WHERE DO I DO IT?
The following is a brief summary of homestead exemption and how to file for it. This summary should not be used in place of actual legal research. It is only to be used as a quick reference and easy guide for those who are unfamiliar with this exemption and are seeking basic information.
In general, our local real estate taxes for homes are 20% (class 2) without exemptions, but you can cut that down to 10% (class 3) and file for a homestead exemption. All you need to do is take your drivers license (showing the new home address) and your deed to the tax assessor to show that you lived in the property before Oct 1. The deadline to file is Dec 31, and if you file after Oct 1 you just need to show a utilities set-date letter and homeowner’s insurance policy to prove the date you moved in was before Oct 1.
For more info on the documents you need to claim homestead, click HERE.
If you have a second property for personal use that you are not renting, such as a vacation home or a second home you haven’t sold yet, you can file for a second personal residence and reduce the tax rate on that home to 10% as well. You will have to turn in the utilities setup letter and homeowner’s insurance policy to show that you have been using it as a personal home (even partially) since your driver’s license only has your primary address on it.
If you want to know more, there are additional homestead exemptions for things like age and disability – click to read more about this from the Alabama Dept of Revenue and the Morgan County Revenue Commissioner.
The following is a list of locations where you can claim homestead in-person (not an exhaustive list):
Hartselle Satellite Office
241 Highway 31, SW
Crestwood Shopping Center
Hartselle, AL 35640
Lacey’s Spring Satellite Office
423 Union Hill Road
Somerville, AL 35670
Morgan County Courthouse
302 Lee Street, NE
Decatur, AL 35601
By: Geoffrey K. Middleton
Attorney at Law
Written in May 2020