Some Fulton County homeowners say their property taxes raised 10 - CBS46 News

Some Fulton County homeowners say their property taxes raised 100 percent

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Source: WGCL Source: WGCL

Frustrated homeowners in Atlanta's Buckhead community packed a tax forum Thursday night, claiming the county over-assessed the value of their homes.

They gathered at a forum hosted by State Rep. Beth Beskin, an Atlanta Republican. The homeowners say to make matters worse, the appeals process is extremely complicated.

Some complained that the Board of Equalization -- the group of trained volunteer homeowners who review appeals -- seems hostile and incompetent. Others complained that they have to jump through hoops just to find out comparable assessments in their neighborhood, known as "comps."

"Why are we not getting our comps before we go to appeal, like you do in a regular court?" asked one woman. "Why don't they tell us? What is this, an ambush? Taxation by ambush? Why are we not getting our comps and why is there not just a sheet to tell us what our values are so we can do what we're supposed to do?"

With a show of hands, a majority in the room said their property assessments went up 40 percent while others said their taxes were raised 100 percent. 

Most homeowners would agree that their homes are worth more in this strengthening economy, but this year's sharp increase in appraisals come after a freeze last year. The state chastised Fulton County for years of not keeping up with market values.

Among the frustrated homeowners is Atlanta City Council President Felicia Moore. She joined a class-action lawsuit after the assessed value of her home jumped to the price she paid for it in 2015.

“That is going to be a part of a class-action lawsuit," said told attendees at the forum. "I don’t know if anyone else in here purchased a home in 2015 that happened to them as well, but that is what I’m doing on that end.”

Moore tried to ease the fears of the audience by telling them it's almost certain that both Fulton County and Atlanta city leaders will continue to roll back millage rates, which would keep tax bills steady despite the higher assessments.

City and county leaders said their advice is to follow through with the appeal. The deadline to do so is July 6.

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