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Fulton County Commission freezes property taxes

136-year-old state law provides county’s authority



FULTON COUNTY – The Fulton County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously today to adopt a resolution to freeze all residential property assessments at 2016 levels.

The action brings immediate relief to residential property owners who saw crushing increases in assessments in their 2017 notices.

“Today’s vote was not just a monetary or fiscal matter, it was a moral issue,” said Commission Chairman John Eaves.

“What we did today was vote to keep seniors from losing their homes, people from having to choose between paying for medicine or tax bills. Our vote will allow all people — regardless of their zip code — to keep their homes by giving them time to adjust to rising property values over time.”

The Resolution not only freezes the assessment levels, it directs the Board of Assessors to:

§ correct the 2017 tax digest of errors and miscalculations);

§ reinstate all freezes implemented under the Consumer Price Index (CPI) exemption that were removed in 2017;

§ requires the Assessors’ Office to update its website to provide taxpayers with online access to their current notices of assessment within 30 days, and within 10 days once the revised (2016 levels) notices are mailed.

Eaves said he expended all efforts to find a way to stop the new appraisals from going into effect. He found the solution after he directed the county attorney to research the issue. The county attorney discovered an 1881 state law that apparently gives Fulton the authority to correct the tax digest with the freeze after all.

“I commend all of my colleagues for voting with me, and adopting this resolution, especially Vice Chairman Bob Ellis who joined me from the start to find relief. But today is not a victory for the members of the Commission; it’s a victory for the people we serve,” Eaves said.

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