Atlanta school superintendent says don’t freeze property assessments

Residents are pleading with Fulton County officials to rescind property value assessments that would mean big increases in their tax bills. 

But Atlanta Public Schools superintendent Meria Carstarphen says freezing assessments is the wrong move.

"Public agencies have mandatory costs that must be covered, and in a city like Atlanta that is seeing growth, there should be at least some corresponding new revenue to cover these costs," she said in a statement released Friday evening. 

The Fulton County Board of Assessors is set to consider at its Thursday meeting cancelling the new property values it already issued.

Both Fulton County and the city of Atlanta have asked the Board of Assessors to cancel the assessments.  School taxes account for the largest share of homeowners’ tax bills.

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Some residents may have to pay sky-high tax bills.

The Atlanta school board has not yet set its tax rate for the coming year. Carstarphen said it does not plan to increase it. However, even if the school tax rate doesn’t change, the school district is poised to collect significantly more tax dollars than last year if the higher assessments stand.

For nearly a quarter of Fulton County homeowners, assessments are up 50 percent or more. Half of the county’s nearly 320,000 parcels received assessments that are at least 20 percent higher. The jumps came because Fulton didn’t maintain regular increases in past year and had valued properties too far below market value, the chief appraiser has said.   

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In other Fulton news:

Some residents may have to pay sky-high tax bills.

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