Jefferson County Board of Equalization
Appraisal Files, 1939-1977
Scope and Content
The Board of Equalization is the agency that appraises property in Jefferson County, Alabama for purposes of taxation. Established in 1938, the Board of Equalization maintains files on each piece of taxable property in the county. The appraisal files contain basic information on structures (whether the structure is wood frame or brick, the type of roofing, heating, plumbing, number of rooms, size of structure) and the assessed value of the property for various years (but not every year). The files usually include an exterior photograph of the façade of the structure and sometimes date of construction for the structure. The structures appraised include residences, commercial and industrial buildings, schools, and churches. Some files include references for deeds and mortgages. Structures built before 1938 are included if they were still standing at the time of the Board of Equalization's first appraisal (generally 1938 to 1940). Structures built after the mid-1970s are not included in these files. The files do not include interior photographs, floor plans or other architectural drawings, names of architects, or detailed information on owners or occupants of a structure. In some cases files for demolished structures were discarded by the Board of Equalization before these files were transferred to the Archives Department in 1981. The collection includes several thousand photographs showing African American homes, businesses, schools and churches.