ATLANTA — The Atlanta City Council passed a resolution on Monday calling on two local government bodies to establish a tax relief program for longtime residents in danger of losing their homes to overwhelming tax burdens as city neighborhoods rapidly gentrify.
The city council action, Resolution 19-R-3088, "requests the Atlanta Board of Education and Fulton County Board of Commissioners to jointly work with the City of Atlanta to propose a tax relief program to protect long-time senior property owners from increasing property taxes," according to its language.
A city government overview of the meeting indicates it was passed by unanimous consent vote.
The resolution calls for the institution of a tax relief program called the "Legacy Program," intended to "protect senior homeownership in the City of Atlanta."
The Legacy Program carries a number of narrowing caveats: It would offer tax relief to people over the age of 65, who have owned property for 30 years or longer, are current on their taxes, and whose "primary residence's certified market value tripled (or more than tripled) between the current and preceding tax year."
The resolution cites the LOOP ("Longtime Owner Occupants Program") initiative in Philadelphia as a model. That program offers tax relief to homeowners whose property values increased by 50 percent or more from one year to the next, if they've owned their home for at least 10 years and fall under certain income caps.
The Atlanta City Council resolution passed Monday was introduced by District 11 Councilmember Marci Collier Overstreet, who represents a chunk of southwest Atlanta increasingly subject to gentrification pressures.
The resolution notes that Atlanta, where average home values more than doubled in the last 20 years, from $126,000 in 2000 to $290,000 in 2018, is one of the most rapidly-gentrifying city in the U.S.
The resolution calls for various Atlanta city, Fulton County and DeKalb County officials to meet to craft a proposal.