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Fulton County Homeowners Facing Increased Property Taxes (Video)

Introduction

Fulton County homeowners are experiencing significant increases in their property taxes this year. The primary reason behind this hike is the underassessment of hundreds of commercial properties, resulting in a heavier financial burden on residential property owners.

Hundreds of Commercial Properties Underassessed

Fulton County officials have identified hundreds of so-called “trophy properties” that are not paying their fair share of property taxes. These properties are not assessed at their full value, leading to substantial revenue losses for the county. Julian Benny, a former Invest Atlanta board member, highlighted the case of a property at 1725 Ponce, which sold for $300 million but is still appraised at just over $100 million. This underassessment saves the property owners $3 million annually in taxes.

Additional Tax Incentives for Trophy Properties

In addition to being underappraised, many of these trophy properties receive additional tax incentives, further reducing their tax liabilities. Benny noted that some properties even receive brownfield tax credits, resulting in property taxes as low as $4,000, which is less than what many homeowners pay.

Impact on Residential Property Owners

Former Fulton County Commissioner Lee Morris explained that commercial property owners have the resources to appeal their assessed values, often winning in Superior Court due to the county being outgunned. As a result, the shortfall in revenue from commercial properties has to be compensated by residential property owners. This leads to higher property tax bills for homeowners to meet the county’s budgetary needs.

Future Actions

Lee Morris, recently appointed to the Board of Assessors, indicated that the issue of under-assessed commercial properties would likely be addressed shortly. The goal is to ensure a fair distribution of the tax burden and alleviate the financial pressure on residential property owners.

Conclusion

The underassessment of commercial properties in Fulton County is causing homeowners a significant increase in property taxes. County officials are aware of the issue and are expected to take steps to rectify the situation, aiming for a more equitable tax system.

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