Fulton County has not yet set its tax rate because the system that calculates the tax digest had trouble differentiating between increases due to reassessed property and those that come from new growth.
Georgia law requires governments to decrease the millage rate as values rise, or to advertise that they are increasing taxes if values rise and the millage rate stays the same. Without knowing what the actual values are, Fulton has been able to do neither.
David Fitzgibbon, Fulton’s chief appraiser, said in an email that there had been indications last summer that there might have been an error in the calculation. Attempts to fix the problem this summer only uncovered more issues with the calculations.
At a Fulton County commission meeting Wednesday, Vice Chairman Liz Hausmann said everything the county does is predicated on collecting taxes. To say that there will be a delay in doing so is a problem, she said, is a “major understatement.”
“This is no way to do business,” she said. “I don’t know at what point we declare that an emergency, but I think we’re kind of close.”