For the second year in a row, Fulton County cannot legally collect taxes without permission from the court. Over 42,000 people have appealed their property tax bill due to a median tax increase of 12 percent for the residents of Fulton County. But some areas received harsher rates, 99 neighborhoods in Fulton County reported a tax increase of at least 50 percent, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The court requires 8 percent of those taxed to appeal in order for a reappraisal hearing, Fulton County has almost 12 percent. Those filing for appeal are primarily residents, but, in terms of value, the majority of the appealed $19.7 billion is commercial.
All together, the property tax appeal values make up 27 percent of the total $72.1 billion tax digest. County attorney Patrise Perkins-Hooker says they will not be able to pay salaries and debts without this tax.
The county says it’s playing catch-up with the new tax increase, because they have not been doing their job in years. But City Council President Ceasar Mitchell does not feel the people should be held responsible.
“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,” Mitchell told the Atlanta Daily World.
Last year, Fulton County encountered the same problem with the 2017 tax digest. After the digest was rejected by the Department of Revenue, Fulton County was given permission to collect taxes based on values from 2016, a decision in which many questioned its legality.
A hearing for the property tax appeals will be set later this month.