The Fulton County Tax Assessors office continues its PR push to prepare property owners for higher assessments in 2018. Chief Appraiser Dwight Robinson told the AJC that since values for 2017 were frozen at 2016 levels, “residents should expect their values to be even higher than they were in assessment notices that went out before that freeze.” Robinson also stressed that local governments (the Fulton County Commissioners, city councils and school districts) have the ability to adjust the millage rates to help reduce the amount of property taxes paid by Fulton residents. You can find the AJC article here (“Fulton County property tax system won’t be fixed in 2018; values rise”, by Arielle Kass, March 21, 2018).
Chief Appraiser Robinson’s comments bring up an important aspect of Georgia’s property tax system: there are several players in the system whose actions impact what property owners pay: Tax assessors set the fair market value of each property; county commissioners, city councils and school boards set the millage rate (or tax rate); and the tax commissioners calculate the total tax owed (taking into account he taxpayer’s exemptions). An increase or decrease of the values/rates by any of these parties, can affect the final tax bill.
Property owners can make the greatest impact on their property tax bill by appealing high assessment values and applying for exemptions.