While seeking to curtail Fulton County’s tax revenues by doubling the homestead exemption, north Fulton lawmakers are also trying to rein in the man who does the tax collecting. A bill introduced Thursday by Rep. Harry Geisinger, R-Roswell, would turn the county’s elected tax commissioner back into a department head appointed by the County Commission, starting in 2017.
It became an elected position in an effort by then-state Rep. Doug Dean, D-Atlanta, to oust Arthur Ferdinand. But Ferdinand ran unopposed in 2004 and has trounced his challengers ever since. Geisinger’s proposal also says the tax commissioner can’t receive extra compensation, an attempt to stop Ferdinand from earning nearly $350,000 per year, mostly through personal fees paid by Atlanta, Sandy Springs and Johns Creek for billing their taxes.