“As a 30-year resident of Fulton County, I understand how burdensome our high county property taxes are for homeowners,” said Jones. “I want to enable taxpayers to stay in Fulton County if they choose to instead of escaping to lower-cost counties.”
The bill would double the homestead exemption after a two-year phase-in period if approved in a referendum by Fulton County residents in 2014. Additionally, the legislation freezes for two years the property tax rate at the current 10.281 mills. Increasing the millage rate thereafter will require a supermajority vote of the county commission instead of a simple majority vote, as is current law.
“Fulton County taxes and spends substantially more per resident than other metro counties, and the numbers bear it out,” said Jones.
In both the 2011 and 2012 county budgets, Fulton County’s per capita expenditures were more than double those of Gwinnett County and more than 67 percent higher than those of Cobb County.
“After this legislation takes effect, the owners of a $500,000 home will pay $1,439 in property taxes, instead of the $1,748 they currently pay,” added Jones. “The owners of a $250,000 home will pay $411, as opposed to the $720 they pay now. And the owners of a $150,000 home will be exempt from any property tax liability.”
Jones and the other state representatives from the Fulton County delegation will introduce additional reforms throughout the session. In particular, they will focus on increasing efficiency and effectiveness in the court, library, and employment systems, as well as the elections board. They also plan to reapportion county commission seats.
“Fulton County residents deserve a county that works for them at a lower cost, and the Fulton County Delegation is committed to assuring they get it,” said Jones.