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Appraisal

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Mapping

Tax maps are an essential tool in the development and maintenance of an equitable tax assessment system. They are indispensable in inventorying all properties in the county and assuring their inclusion on the tax rolls. They are essential for the location and identification of properties to be assessed, and are a requisite for determination of dimensions necessary in calculating land valuations.

Lee County's GIS/Mapping department is now in its 15th year of maintaining parcel tax maps using a digital format. Our maps are maintained using AutoCAD Map 2003 software. In January 2006, Lee County had aerial photography flown using digitial color orthophotography.

To view Lee County's Tax Maps and parcel information visit www.alabamagis.com/Lee/.
Click here for instructions on viewing the maps and parcel data.
  

Our records are maintained daily. Daily maintenance includes keeping track of changes using the most recent documents recorded in the Probate Judge's office; i.e. deeds, subdivision plats and other miscellaneous documents.

Tax mapping personnel maintain the county aerial photography and map system, the county property description record files, and the permanent parcel numbering control system for the approximately 60,000 parcels of real property in Lee County.

On average, the mapping department performs over 10,000 property ownership changes, splits and combinations changes each year. This is done to maintain the integrity of the permanent parcel numbering system and to ensure that all taxable lands within Lee County are assessed. The aerial photographs maintained by this department are used by county personnel, developers, title companies, realty personnel, investors, local units, and the general public.

The parcel numbering system shall contain seven sets of numbers, each set designed to locate the parcel geographically as well as by ownership map sheet. The numbering system identifies the county, township, area, section, quarter section and/or block in which the parcel is located. The system is completely numerical rather than alphanumeric to facilitate data processing. It is also designed as a system for numbering the ownership map. Example 43-09-09-30-2-002-010.000

The staff in the Mapping Department is available to explain the information we have used to map a particular parcel boundary, however listed below are subjects that we cannot help with:

  • We do not survey property. If you need a surveyor, there are many qualified people listed under "Surveyors" in the yellow pages of the phone book.
  • We do not provide legal advice on property rights or any other subject.
  • We do not have the ability to settle disputes between property owners as to whether an encroachment has occurred with regard to fences, sheds or any other use or structure.
  • We do not have building plot plans in our office. We do not keep records on building setback requirements.
  • We do not have topographic surveys in our office. If you are required to have a topographic survey for a building permit or Certificate of Occupancy, you must hire a surveyor to do this for you and fill out an Elevation Certificate.
  • We do not keep FEMA Flood Plain maps in our office, please see the Lee County Emergency Management Agency.

 

History of Tax Mapping in Alabama

A tax map, as defined in "Assessment Terminology," a manual published by the International Association of Assessing Officers, is, "A map drawn to scale and delineated for lot lines, property lines, or both, with dimensions of areas, identifying numbers, letters, or names for all lots or parcels."

Until 1971, Tax Assessors did not map parcels on ownership maps (Jefferson and Mobile Counties had a system of property ownership mapping in place). Plat Books were used to identify owners in each quarter section. This was according to the Code of Alabama, Volume 21, Title 40, section 40-7-38. Each page of the Plat Book was a complete section. Each quarter section identified the owner or owners who were assessing property in that particular quarter. Some Tax Assessors obtained their parcel information from the Plat Book. In most counties, only the property ownership, parcel numbers of the property owned, and the years that the property owner had been assessing their property was readily available. The Plat books covered only five to six years at a time. These books were often very large and heavy.
In 1971, the lawsuit of Weissinger vs Boswell found Act 502 to be unconstitutional in that it violated the Due Process and Equal Protection provided in the Fourteenth Amendment. In declaring Act 502 unconstitutional, the District Court said the State must equalize appraisals and assessments statewide.
In January of 1972, the Legislature passed Act 160 to deal with statewide reappraisal. Title 40, section 40-7-64 gave authority to the Department of Revenue to set the procedures, standards and forms that each county in the state must follow, in the reappraisal of all property. The Property Tax Division of the Department of Revenue was charged to write the procedures for reappraisal and for the mapping of all parcels in Alabama. The "Alabama State Specification for Aerial Photography, Planimetric Manuscripts and Property Ownership Maps" was adopted in July of 1973. This set the standard by which all parcels are to be mapped state wide. From 1973 until 1980, private mapping companies were hired by each county to map and maintain the ownership maps. Starting in October of 1980, each county hired mappers to maintain their maps.
Currently, the Alabama Department of Revenue offers mapping courses as a part of the Ad Valorem Certification Program.