Fulton County working with residents after spike in tax assessments

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Fulton County officials heard the concerns of tens of thousands of homeowners after a significant spike in their property tax assessments and Monday they began the process of letting residents know what they are doing to solve it.

Monday's town hall meeting was the first since the Fulton County Board of Commissioners voted last month to reset the 2016 values for 2017.

It was a packed house at the Sou'wester Library Branch as dozens gathered to voice concerns and heard what the county is doing.

"I am retired I had to go get a part time job because my taxes at one time was $200 a year my taxes now are $900," said Fulton County Homeowner Howard Watson.

During the town hall meeting, Fulton County Chairman John Eaves announced that property owners will receive new tax assessment notices the first week of August and they will have 45 days to appeal.

"We acknowledge that things could have been done a little bit better than they were but we want to look forward in terms of making a much better process," said Fulton County Chairman John Eaves.

That process potentially means giving homeowners until 2019 to catch up and be at 100% market value. The county is also planning for the long term and is putting together recommendations for state lawmakers.

"We're going to work with them, as a board of commissioners in terms of exploring additional homestead exceptions," said Chairman Eaves. "Exploring ways that property owners can have some additional relief based on their age or whether they are on fixed income."

Other potential proposals include freezing property assessments in transitioning neighborhoods.

"I think that is a good idea because you have a lot of seniors who are on fixed incomes and it makes a difference if they pay for their medicine or their food or to pay their tax assessment bill," said Fulton County homeowner Karen Houston.

Chairman Eaves said if you have already paid your taxes to call the tax assessor’s office because you could potentially receive a refund. Eaves said 14,000 homeowner's property value dropped from 2016 to 2017 if that is the case he recommends filing an appeal.

There are 10 other town hall meetings scheduled throughout the month.