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Candidates Disagree Over Property Reappraisals

By Alabama Public Radio

Montgomery, AL – Siegelman and Moore are campaigning for governor next year on a promise to reverse annual property reappraisals and return Alabama to its old system of re-appraising property every four years. Riley's communications director, Jeff Emerson, says state law requires property taxes to be assessed annually on October First, and the law says the taxes must be based on the property's ``fair market value.'' In March of 2003, two months after Riley took office, his state revenue commissioner, Dwight Carlisle, approved regulations to change Alabama from doing property reappraisals every four years to annually. The change, after cost of implementation, should generate an extra 448 million dollars in tax revenue through 2010, according to the state Revenue Department's estimates. That increase would provide 138-point-eight million to county governments, 171-point-five million to schools, 83-point-three million to city governments, and 54-point-four million to the state. Alabama started re-appraising property every four years because of a 1971 court case that found some property had gone for decades without being re-appraised. Siegelman and Moore say nothing in that court decision and nothing in state law mentions annual reappraisals or supports Riley's view.

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