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To: Fulton County Board of Assessors

Stop letting undervalued properties deprive fulton county of desperately needed tax dollars

We the undersigned residents of Fulton County as advocates for adequate affordable housing funding have taken notice of the recent news concerning the Board of Assessors’ role in development authority tax abatement of trophy properties and data centers that appears to be resulting in a loss of hundreds of millions of dollars per year of tax revenue for Atlanta’s schools, City and County.

High-value Atlanta commercial properties sell for almost twice their appraised values, which is completely out of line with residential sales ratios. This under-valuation is estimated to be costing as much as $500M per year in Atlanta alone, with some $300M more in the rest of Fulton County. This imposes an excessive tax burden on residents and denies local government the funds necessary to offer equitable public services, including funding to tackle our affordable housing crisis. We now understand that the ‘lease-purchase’ ruse explains most of this appraisal failure.

We expect you to require your staff to properly value the fake leases at issue. A $10 termination option in a lease makes it no lease at all. That is borne out by the full prices that buyers pay for abated buildings. No more massive tax discounts for those who can afford six- and seven-figure bond lawyer fees!

Why is this important?

It is outrageous that a new property like 725 Ponce sells for $300M without triggering an increase both in its $107M appraised value and the appraised values of comparable trophy properties. Assessors routinely reappraise our homes based on sale prices and trophy towers must be treated in the same way. We expect you to require your staff to include the sale prices of abated trophy properties in their appraisals of those properties and similar ones.

Please do right by the residents of Fulton County and clean up the sham ‘lease-purchase’ scandal that is preventing local government from funding needed services.
Fulton County, GA, USA

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2023-12-19 15:31:57 -0500

500 signatures reached

2023-12-17 08:30:25 -0500

100 signatures reached

2023-12-15 13:19:10 -0500

50 signatures reached

2023-12-15 10:42:37 -0500

25 signatures reached

2023-12-15 01:12:07 -0500

10 signatures reached