The state has finally given Fulton County permission to collect property taxes from 2017.
Georgia’s revenue commissioner withheld permission for more than two years because of a dispute regarding whether Fulton’s elected officials had authority to freeze property values at 2016 levels, when property values increased dramatically in 2017.
The county received a court order to collect taxes that year, as well as in 2018 and 2019. The state would not approve tax digests for either year until the 2017 tax digest had been cleared.
Last month, the state and the county reached a settlement: the state would not require Fulton to raise property values for the year in dispute, and Fulton would no longer use a law from the 1880s to justify future freezes.
Wednesday, Fulton County tax commissioner Arthur Ferdinand said he finally received notice that both the 2017 and 2018 digests had been approved.
In letters, state tax commissioner David Curry said the tax digests were “in proper form,” something that was in dispute in previous years.
The approval did not consider whether the county’s appraisals were within an acceptable range; that will come later. The state’s actions do not require property owners to pay any more in taxes for 2017 or 2018.