The problems and missed deadlines in the Fulton County tax assessor’s office may be slowly getting resolved.
“I am not saying we aren’t disappointed in our inability to meet the internal target date we set for ourselves of tax notices going out April 19, but I can say the 2018 property tax notices will be delivered the week of June 17,” County Manager Dick Anderson said.
This is what Anderson told the Fulton board of commissioners at its June 5 regular meeting at Assembly Hall in downtown Atlanta prior to the county’s chief tax assessor, Dwight Robinson, addressing the board concerning tax appeals.
“We had in 2018 41,242 appeals yet to be worked. But at this point, we have 9,130 still unworked, which is 22% of that total,” Robinson said. “There are no more appeals still at the board of assessors’ level. Those appeals are now at the upper levels of the appeals process, such as with the board of equalization, a hearing officer or Superior Court.”
At the May 15 recess meeting, District 2 Commissioner Bob Ellis spoke of his disappointment at the board of assessors’ inability to meet deadlines, which he said seemed to always be changing.
However, he did support Anderson’s idea of the board of assessors, because of the missed deadlines, undergoing what he called a post-mortem examination of itself.
“I think the county manager’s idea is an excellent one,” Ellis said. “I don’t think we need to do any finger pointing here, but instead focus on what lessons we have learned.”
Ellis emphasized he did not have a personal gripe with anyone in the tax assessor’s office.
“I know that a lot of people are working hard there, but we have had the same set of results repeat themselves,” he said. “We have to break that cycle so we can have an operation we are proud of, top to bottom.”
Anderson said the tax assessor’s office has improved its customer service, established a new website and added staff.
In addition to the department’s internal issues, he also said, “The Legislature made changes to homestead exemptions, which were not consistent from one municipality to another.”