Ga. stops Fulton Tax Commissioner Arthur Ferdinand’s fee on liens

Fulton County Tax Commissioner Arthur Ferdinand will no longer be able to collect a 50 cent fee on liens that are sold. JASON GETZ / AJC File Photo
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Fulton County Tax Commissioner Arthur Ferdinand will no longer be able to collect a 50 cent fee on liens that are sold. JASON GETZ / AJC File Photo

Four years after The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on fees that Fulton County Tax Commissioner Arthur Ferdinand was collecting to enrich himself, the state legislature has eliminated his ability to take the additional income.

Ferdinand personally collects 50 cents every time he sells a tax lien to a private collection firm or the lien is otherwise paid off. A measure that eliminates that fee passed the state Senate Wednesday after previously passing the House. It now awaits the governor’s signature.

Ferdinand — who was already Georgia’s highest-paid elected official — collected more than $200,000 between 2011 and the end of 2015 as a result of the fees, according to Fulton County.

“It’s something that rankled our voters, that resonated with our voters,” said Rep. Brad Raffensperger, R-Johns Creek, who sponsored the bill in the House. “Earning fees on tax liens just is not appropriate state policy.”

To read more about why Georgia legislatures cut off the fee, click here.