Fulton County raises the millage rate by 17%

Walter Hotz, Esq. Appeals

Here are some excerpts from an article by Kristal Dixon on August 7, 2014 in the Roswell Patch.

Six Fulton County leaders have filed a lawsuit to stop the county from imposing a 17-percent property tax increase.  The commissioners voted 4-3 to raise the millage rate to 11.781 mills from 10.211 mills. The lawmakers believe the increase violates House Bill 604, which prohibits Fulton County from raising property taxes until January 2015.

”We regret having to take this action, but the Fulton County Commission voted to increase property taxes contrary to state law and property taxpayers’ best interests,” said Jan Jones of Milton, who was the primary sponsor of H.B. 604, which passed during the 2013 legislative session. ”We’re committed to upholding state law and the Georgia Constitution and protecting Fulton County taxpayers.”

The bill also required a super majority vote — five of the seven Fulton commissioners — to increase the property tax rate after January 2015.  H.B. 60 was based upon a 1951 local constitutional amendment that gives the Georgia General Assembly “broad authority” on the time and place and the amount Fulton County can levy for ad valorem taxes.  The amendment was reauthorized by the state legislature in 1987. The amendment only affects Fulton, and the state legislature has no similar authority in place for other counties.

New local constitutional amendments are no longer allowed by the Georgia constitution, but prior local amendments reauthorized by 1987 remain in effect.

Another article on this subject can be found here.