Battle over property taxes in Fulton County far from over - CBS46 News

Battle over property taxes in Fulton County far from over

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Source: WGCL Source: WGCL

The battle over the expensive tax bills from property owners in Fulton County is far from over after the state says a loophole found by county commissioners intended to give people relief is illegal.

Property owners in some of Atlanta hottest neighborhoods were burned last year when property tax bills were sent out. Some homeowners saw their tax bills increase by as much as 300 percent.

County commissioners found an ancient loophole from the 1800's to circumvent the tax hikes and give homeowners a break but the state revenue department says the move was illegal and the case is currently in court.

New county commission chairman Robb Pitts says the county is aggressively trying to educate residents that there are many ways to lower their property taxes, like dozens of homestead exceptions. He says the county will also try to fix the technical problems that led to some of the higher than expected appraisals.

"Most people aren't aware of them. Most people don't even realize they qualify for them and for those who do, they're so complicated and there are so many of them that they don't take advantage of them," said Pitts. "Number 1, we're going to hire additional appraisers. Number 2, we're going to offer additional training to the appraisers and we're going to spend in the excess of $3 million on equipment."

Meanwhile, under the golden dome, there are a half-dozen bills that would impose a cap on how high property taxes can go but right now, all of them are aimed at cities in the north side of the county.

The problem with capped rates? It will affect the amount of money that school systems would get and that's why Atlanta and other cities on the south side are reluctant to support the measure at this point.

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