Fulton County residents see major property tax increases

by Rincey Abraham

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Fulton County residents were recently shocked to find substantially higher property tax bills this year. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, some homeowners saw their taxes increase as much as 50 percent compared to 2016.

In May, the Journal-Constitution reported that there would be a significant tax hike coming to Fulton County. The median increase was expected to be around 12 percent, but residents in 99 neighborhoods saw their property values increase by at least 50 percent.

The reasons given for the sharp increase in taxes is a combination of the increasing property values in Fulton County and the county not keeping up with rising values as the economy improved.

The Atlanta City Council passed a resolution asking the county to delay the 2017 tax assessment digest and for Fulton Tax Assessor’s representatives to explain how they came up with their 2017 assessments.

According to the Atlanta Daily World, City Council President Ceasar Mitchell said after the vote, “The excuse we’ve heard from Fulton County is that they haven’t done their jobs in years, so this is them playing catch-up. These changes to the tax digest are, frankly, indigestible. Asking homeowners to stomach these increases because Fulton County hasn’t done their job is unacceptable.”

Homeowners who wish to appeal must do so within 45 days of receiving their assessment or by July 10 in person, by mail or online. If at least 8 percent of all property owners formally challenge their assessment, the Fulton County Superior Court would be required to look at the increases. This equates to around 25,000 homeowners. According to 11Alive News, 38,000 people challenged their assessments in 2011 when there was another major increase.