For the first time since the recession of the mid-2000s caused property values all over the country to take a hit, one Baldwin County town’s assessed property value has topped $1 billion.
“Orange Beach hit that mark I think it was like 2008 or 2009,” Baldwin County Revenue Commissioner Teddy Faust said. “It’s taken about 10 years to get back.”
Even though other cities in the county may exceed the population of Orange Beach, the types of properties and how they are assessed are the reasons values there are so high.
“A single condo is an enormous amount of equity and you can imagine most of the condos are rentals so they are assessed at 20 percent,” Faust said. “That’s the only reason Orange Beach is so high. If you take Fairhope or Daphne which have a greater population — a permanent population — most of those are assessed at 10 percent. Gulf Shores and Orange Beach have all these rental properties and they are all assessed double, at 20 percent.”
Those high assessments are one of the reasons several condo properties show up in the top 25 property-tax payers in Baldwin County based on 2018 collections. Among those are Spectrum’s Turquoise Place at number seven, Perdido Beach Resort at eight and Phoenix Orange Beach at 12.
The top 25 list is headed by five utilities with the Baldwin Electric Membership Co-op the highest payer in the county at $1.4 million. Rounding out the top five are Gulf Telephone Company, Alabama Power, Riviera Utilities and Florida Gas Transmission.
Walmart comes in at number six on the list and other utilities in the top 25 include Mediacom and PowerSouth.
Public utilities face the highest rates and are charged 30 percent of the assessed value of everything they have including their lines, rights of way and physical buildings.
Others in the list include several apartment companies, shopping centers, Publix, homebuilders D.R. Horton and Truland Homes and Exxon. Quincy Compressor of Bay Minette is the only manufacturer on the list.
Those top 25 paid $8.6 million of the total $145 million collected, or less than 6 percent. The taxes were paid on 482 acres on 1,555 parcels.
All property owners in Baldwin County pay a base rate of 28 mills in property taxes to the state (6.5 mills), county (9.5) and for education (12). Cities also add on ad valorem taxes as well, from just four in Orange Beach and Perdido to 15 in both Daphne and Fairhope.
While Orange Beach had the top assessed value topping $1 billion, it was the third-highest city on the property-tax collection list at $3.9 million because of the low, four-mill rate.
Daphne topped the list at $5.6 million followed by Fairhope at $5.4 million with Gulf Shores coming in fourth at $3.2 million. The lowest was Perdido at $42,000. To calculate taxes, 1 mill is equal to $1 in property tax, which is levied per every $1,000 of a property’s determined taxable value.
Faust said his yearly update charting taxes paid is a popular tool Baldwin officials like to use to point out how much financial help the county gives the state.
“It’s kind of a thing to say Baldwin County is really contributing to the welfare of the state of Alabama and therefore we need our fair share of support,” Faust said.
Municipal property tax collections
Daphne: $5.6 million
Fairhope: $5.4 million
Orange Beach: $3.9 million
Gulf Shores: $3.2 million
Foley: $1.3 million
Bay Minette: $819,000
Spanish Fort: $603,000
Magnolia Springs: $65,000
Top 25 taxpayers
Baldwin EMC: $1,400,472.30
Gulf Telephone Company: $696,359.40
Alabama Power Company: $632,301.11
Coroc/Riviera LLC: $532,027.98
Florida Gas Transmission Co.: $397,213.04
Walmart Real Estate Business Trust: $356,196.35
Spectrum Turquoise LLC: $317,629.46
Gulf Beach Hotel Inc.: $312,992.00
Audubon 344 LLC: $294,654.06
Jubilee Square LLC: $293,530.04
100 Emerald Greens LLC: $285.684.96
Phoenix Orange Beach: $261,371.52
D.R. Horton Inc., Birmingham: $261,313.92
Passco Arlington DST: $250,108.98
Truland Homes LLC: $249,435.68
Mediacom Communications Corp.: $249,176.85
PowerSouth Energy Cooperative: $224,469.34
Quincy Compressor: $220,700.85
Mid-America Apartments LP: $220,633.38
Colonnade at Eastern Shore LLC: $219,576.92
Exxon Corporation: $206,905.44
Eastern Shore Plaza LLC: $204.510.56
Allied Development of Alabama LLC: $194,975.04
PSM Alabama Holdings LLC: $189,770.18
Ashley Gates Holdings LLC: $179,752.90
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