Fulton County Tax Assessments Under Scrutiny – Again

As many of my Buckhead friends know, property valuation has been an issue in determining taxes in Buckhead for awhile.  I have access to professionals that will fight your assessment for 1/3 of your first year’s savings on your taxes. As of April 2011, your taxes should not be higher than what you paid for the property even if it was a foreclosure or short sale. Let me know if I can help. – Tina

By Johnny Edwards, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Fulton County tax assessment situation has another flair up.

The Fulton County tax assessment situation has another flair up.

Some Fulton County residents have been egregiously overbilled for property taxes because the county, contrary to a new state law, appraised their houses for more than their 2010 sale prices.

The scope of the problem is still being determined, but it could make for another embarrassment for a tax assessors office that has struggled to keep up with legislation enacted this year overhauling property assessment and appeals processes in the wake of the real estate bust.

And it has the Senate majority leader fuming.

“I’m flabbergasted. I’m frustrated,” said Sen. Chip Rogers, R-Woodstock, who sponsored Senate Bill 346 and is pushing for further changes in the tax system next year. After seeing evidence that Fulton has put tax values on some homes at twice their sale price, Rogers said he’s now mulling penalties for counties that stray from the law.

“This is a problem that doesn’t seem to be correcting itself,” he said.

One of the provisions of SB 346 limited 2011 tax values to the level of 2010 sales. Exceptions are allowed if, after a sale, an owner undertakes new construction or makes major repairs or renovations.

Allyne Bolton bought a new house in unincorporated south Fulton for $147,190 in June 2010. Though she’s had nothing done but an interior paint job, the county gave her a tax value of $308,700.

Her tax bill totaled $4,112, which she says she can’t afford. Had the house been valued at her sale price, she would have owed about $1,640.

“It’s ridiculous. It’s unfair,” said Bolton, a travel agent out of work since January. “The law says they can’t assess me for more than what I paid for the house, and they’ve assessed me at twice what I paid for the house.”

It’s the latest in a succession of errors and oversights by the assessors office this year, some widespread, some affecting an unlucky few.

Burt Manning, the county’s chief appraiser, said Fulton residents who believe they have been wrongly appraised should call his office.

“We’re certainly investigating, and we’ve only found a few that need to be fixed,” he said.

Please click here for the entire article about the Fulton County tax assessments from the Atlanta Journal Constitution. 

Also, I wanted to provide the Georgia law pertaining to the revenue and taxation of ad valorem taxes in our state.  Please click here to see the entire law.

Click on the image of the Georgia law for the full-size PDF version.

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