Property Assessments and Taxes - What You Need to Know
Property Taxes Will Increase Unless City Council Takes Action
Johns Creek resident Michael Fitzgerald is a member of the Fulton County Board of Assessors (FCBoA). He provided an update pertinent to the topic of 2018 property taxes during the Public Comments portion of the City Council Meeting this past Monday, May 7, 2018.
For background context, it is the mandate of the FCBoA to estimate the value of property in Fulton County to within plus-or-minus 10% of its Fair Market Value. That process conducted in 2017 was so poorly received by property owners and municipal officials that the adjustments for that year were thrown out, and property values remained the same as in the previous year.
Fast forward to 2018 and the FCBoA has completed the process, and the newly updated tax digest was approved on May 3rd, 2018. In reviewing the results, the increases in median value for North Fulton fall between 27% to 34% higher than in 2017.
Are you prepared for a property tax increase of between 27% and 34%?
Mr. Fitzgerald, again speaking as a private citizen and resident of Johns Creek, urged our City Council to resist the urge to do nothing and realize a property tax windfall. That implies the need to adjust the millage rate to keep aggregate property taxes neutral to 2017.
Any change in Johns Creek's overall property tax obligations are within the control of our elected representatives on City Council. While property tax value assessments fall to the FCBoA, the millage rate that is applied to that value is set by Johns Creek City Council. It is entirely within their control to set a millage rate rollback that has the effect of arriving at a net-neutral property tax revenue result.
Where do our Elected Officials Stand on a Millage Rate Rollback?
We submitted a survey to our elected officials to get their input on support for a millage rate rollback. Three of our representatives responded: Post 3-John Bradberry, Post 4-Chris Coughlin, and Post 5-Stephanie Endres. All three support a millage rate rollback. The remainder of our elected representatives chose not to respond: Mayor Mike Bodker, Post 1-Lenny Zaprowski, Post 2-Jay Lin, and Post 6-Steve Broadbent. Due to reader requests, we re-opened the survey to provide another opportunity for those who did not respond to allow them an additional chance to respond before closing the survey at 5:00 PM on May 11th, 2018. At the close of the survey, we did not receive any additional responses, though Post 1 Councilman Lenny Zaprowski did communicate that he is happy to discuss the matter personally with residents who may contact him via email (Lenny.Zaprowski@johnscreekga.gov) or via his cell phone at (470) 201-8597.
What Can You do Personally?
Beyond taking our survey, contact our elected officials and let them know what you think. You can contact all of them with one easy email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
It should be noted that City Councilwoman Stephanie Endres provided a helpful bit of information that if 6% or more of Fulton County property owners appeal their updated value assessments, the entire tax digest will have to be re-done, and if not completed in a timely manner (which would be highly unlikely), would revert to the previous tax digest until completed again. While that will require many property owners to take action, there are steps YOU can take to appeal your own assessment when it arrives in late May 2018.
Instructions for appealing your property value assessment available here