Alabama Property Tax Sales

Property Tax Sales

In Alabama, all property, both real and personal (except that property is exempted by the Alabama State Constitution or other specific statute), is subject to taxation. The tax year begins October 1st of each year and grants the state, county and municipality a lien on the property until the taxes are paid.

The Statute of Limitations for ad valorem taxes (property) is five years from the date that the tax becomes delinquent What this means is that in theory a property owner could fail to pay 2002 taxes, pay 2003 through 2006 taxes and the state could still enforce a tax sale for the unpaid 2002 taxes in 2007. Once the state has acquired title by a tax sale, Alabama Code Section 6-2-31 states that there is no time limitation within which the state, county or municipality can commence an action for the recovery of its land. Therefore, one cannot adversely possess against the state, county or municipality.

When delinquent taxes are not paid, the tax collector has the right to levy on and sell personal property. If the proceeds of the sale of the personal property do not generate a  sufficient amount to satisfy the taxes, the tax  collector can sell the taxpayer’s real property for non payment of taxes. The Probate Court of each county has the power and authority to sell real property for non payment of taxes assessed to the land.
If a person purchases property at a tax sale, they are entitled to a tax deed three years from the date that the tax sale was held. When property sold at a tax sale has been bid in by the state, the state may sell the property after five years by private sale to any purchaser.

A list of properties available for sale by the State of Alabama Department of Revenue can be found on their website located at

The materials provided on this web site are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue, problem or questions.

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