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Fulton Wins First Round in Tax Hike Lawsuit

by Paul Miller, Atlanta, October 2014

 

Fulton County Commissioners scored an initial victory in a court case that will determine whether a double-digit tax increase can go into effect. Superior Court Judge G. Grant Brantley decided not to block the county from collecting the tax while the case is underway.

 

Tax Bills Issued

 

Fulton County has already sent out property tax bills containing a 17% millage increase for the county budget.

 

Immediately after the county commissioners approved the property tax increase, members of the Fulton County legislative delegation filed suit, claiming the tax hike is illegal due to House Bill 604. HB 604 prohibits Fulton County from raising taxes until 2015.

 

Only Fulton County's taxing authority is subject to such regulation. The county argued the state violated home rule, or the county's right to govern itself, when it passed HB 604.

 

Case Not Settled

 

Judge Brantley has yet to rule on the merits of the lawsuit. However, Fulton Commission Chairman John Eaves is encouraged that the county will prevail.

 

"I'm very pleased that the court ruled we can continue to collect the taxes that are necessary to run our government and serve our citizens," Eaves said.