Fulton County’s property tax bills likely will be mailed late this year since at least one municipality in the county has not adopted its millage rate yet.

“Atlanta has delayed setting its millage rate, and the impact of that is the time frame we’re looking to issue tax bills this year will shift,” Fulton Chief Financial Officer Sharon Whitmore said. “We were hoping they would be out by the end of this month.

“The city’s delay will likely cause bills at this point not to go out until the first of October. That was the best-case scenario as we talked to the tax commissioner. … This puts us back (to) the same circumstance as 2017, when we had a late bill as well.”

Whitmore announced the news at the Fulton Board of Commissioners’ Aug. 19 recess meeting, which was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Atlanta City Council approved its budget in June but has not passed its millage rate yet.

Separately, Atlanta Public Schools hosted a series of three state-mandated public hearings earlier this month, with the last one Aug. 17, and its board of education approved its rate on that date.

At the commission meeting, Whitmore said Fulton Finance Director Hakeem Oshikoya has contacted the city of Atlanta about the issue. When District 2 Commissioner Bob Ellis asked about it, board Chair Robb Pitts said he knew why Atlanta was delaying the millage rate vote but would only tell him privately.

“If we end up with a December 1 due date, then the (tax) collection rate will be worse, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic,” Whitmore said. “The sooner the (Atlanta district) is able to act on its millage rate, the sooner we can get those tax bills out.”

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