Classification of taxable property for purposes of ad valorem taxation; taxable property to be taxed by state, counties, municipalities, etc., at same rate; assessment ratios for purposes of ad valorem taxation; increase or decrease of ad valorem tax rate by counties, municipalities, etc.; exemption of state, county and municipal property and property used for religious, educational or charitable purposes from taxation; legislature may provide exemptions from taxation; interpretation of authority for counties, municipalities, etc., to levy taxes, incur indebtedness, etc., in relation to assessment of property; maximum rate of ad valorem tax in any one taxable year.
(a) All taxable property within this state, not exempt by law, shall be divided into the following classes for the purposes of ad valorem taxation:
Class I. All property of utilities used in the business of such utilities,
Class II. All property not otherwise classifed,
Class III. All agricultural, forest and residential property.
(b) With respect to ad valorem taxes levied by the state, all taxable property shall be forever taxed at the same rate, and such property shall be assessed for ad valorem tax purposes according to the classes thereof as herein defined at the following ratios of assessed value to the fair and reasonable market value of such property:
Class I. 30 per centum
Class II. 25 per centum
Class III. 15 per centum
(c) With respect to ad valorem taxes levied by counties, municipalities or other taxing authority, all taxable property shall be forever taxed at the same rate, and such property shall be assessed for ad valorem tax purposes according to the classes of property defined in paragraph (a) herein and at the same ratios of assessed value to the fair and reasonable market value thereof as fixed in paragraph (b) herein, provided, however, that the legislature may vary the ratio of assessed value to the fair and reasonable market value as to any class of property as defined in paragraph (b) herein, and provided, further, that the legislature may fix a uniform ratio of assessment of all property within a county defined in paragraph (a) herein as Class II and III and may fix a different ratio of assessment for property defined in paragraph (a) as Class I. Such ratios as herein authorized may vary among counties so long as each such ratio is uniform within a county.
No class of property shall have a ratio of assessed value to fair and reasonable market value of less than 15 per centum nor more than 35 per centum.
(d) A county, municipality, or other taxing authority may decrease any ad valorem tax rate at any time, provided such decrease shall not jeopardize the payment of any bonded indebtedness secured by such tax. When the tax assessor of each county shall complete the assembly of the assessment book for his county for the ad valorem tax year immediately following the adoption of this amendment and the computation of ad valorem taxes that will be paid upon such assessment, he shall certify to each authority within his county that levies an ad valorem tax the amount of ad valorem tax that will be produced by every levy in that year but excluding for this purpose any assessment of property added to the tax rolls of such county for the tax year in which such certification is made that was not included on the tax rolls for the next preceding tax year. If it shall appear that the estimated ad valorem tax receipts from any levy so estimated shall be less than the receipts from the same levy during the next preceding ad valorem tax year, then the levying authority shall increase each tax rate by such millage as is necessary to produce revenue that is not less than and that is substantially equal to that received during such immediately preceding tax year. It is further provided that any and all millage adjustments shall be made in increments of not less than 1/2 mill. The adjustment herein required shall be made only one time and shall be made in the ad valorem tax year immediately following the adoption of this amendment.
(e) Any county, municipality, or other taxing authority may increase the rate at which ad valorem taxes are levied above the limit now provided in the Constitution provided that the proposed increase shall have been (1) proposed by the authority having power to levy the tax after a public hearing on such proposal, (2) thereafter approved by an act of the legislature, and (3) subsequently approved by a majority vote of the qualified electors of the area in which the tax is to be levied or increased who vote on the proposal.
(f) The legislature is authorized to enact legislation to implement the provisions of this amendment, and may provide for exemptions from taxation; provided, however, that any statutory exemption existing prior to the adoption of this amendment shall not be repealed, except by subsequent legislative act, and shall remain in full force and effect.
(g) Wherever any constitutional provision or statute provides for, limits or measures the power or authority of any county, municipality or other taxing authority to levy taxes, borrow money, or incur indebtedness in relation to the assessment of property therein for state taxes or for state and county taxes such provision shall mean as assessed for county or municipal taxes as the case may be.
(h) Any provision of the Constitution of Alabama to the contrary notwithstanding, ad valorem taxes shall never exceed 1 1/2% of the fair and reasonable market value of the property in any one taxable year.
(i) The following property shall be exempt from all ad valorem taxation: the real and personal property of the state, counties and municipalities and property devoted exclusively to religious, educational or charitable purposes.