Tempers erupt in meeting halls over Fulton County tax bills

Property owners packed Fulton County meeting halls on Thursday in protest of property tax increases that could follow recent property assessments.

ALPHARETTA, Ga. -- Some Fulton County property owners say they're seeing a major increase in their tax bills after their property assessments went up almost 100 percent - and they're furious.

Dozens packed a room in Alpharetta Thursday night to voice their concerns to their county commissioner and the chief assessor.

Many of the attendees from Alpharetta said they are worried they won't be able to stay in their homes if their taxes go up too much - some calling the area home for decades.

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Now they're calling for officials to take action. They waited in a long line outside the building to pack inside a small, hot room and express their frustration.

"It isn't unfair - life's unfair. It's unjust," one resident said.

"Where are we getting these crazy increases from?" asked another.

They're at a loss over the shocking 2017 Fulton County assessments they all just got in the mail.

"If you want to give me this much money for my house, I'll sell it to you right now," a frustrated homeowner said.

The increases are massive - in some cases more than 75 percent. On Thursday night, people from Roswell, Alpharetta and Milton got their chance to weigh-in.

"Every year, I will tell you, I do not have three and a half bathrooms," one said in frustration. "I have two and a half bathrooms and every year you give me three and a half bathrooms."

Residents are calling the methods behind the increases into question. Commissioner Bill Ellis and Chairman John Eaves are pushing for a freeze. And the assessor's board is considering it.

But so far, the chief is standing by the appraisals. So all residents can do right now is appeal - and fight.

"In 2017, it's still supposed to be frozen - why did we receive an assessment?" one resident demanded. "You violated state law; who on this board is going to go to jail. Who is going to take the hit?"

These property owners are passionate about their individual situations and they're demanding answers as the assessor's board reviews increases of more than 50 percent.

In the meantime, property owners can appeal - their best option at this point.

© 2017 WXIA-TV


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