Fulton County will not have to resend 2017 property taxes, judge rules

Fulton County property owners will not be billed a second time for 2017 property taxes, after a judge ruled the county was within its rights when it froze most residential property values at 2016 levels.

DeKalb County Judge Alan Harvey said Lynnette Riley, the state revenue commissioner, was “without legal authority” when she decided to reject Fulton’s 2017 tax digest. In the ruling, released late Thursday, he also said it would have been harmful to Fulton County taxpayers if the government had been required to reissue tax assessments and therefore tax bills.

VIDEO: Previous coverage on this issue

Critics say commercial property owners are getting a big break, but the county disagrees

Last year, county leaders froze most residential values after residents complained about huge increases in their property values. The dispute with the Riley’s department has lasted more than a year.

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Fulton County Commission Chairman Robb Pitts said it was a “great day” for the county. In an email to county commissioners, Jerolyn Webb Ferrari, the interim county attorney, called the ruling “a phenomenal victory for the County.”

William Gaston, a spokesperson for Riley, said the department was reviewing the ruling, but had no comment.

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