Tax system reforms on the way, Cagle says

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle told the state’s mayors Monday that the Senate will be rolling out legislation this week aimed at correcting inequities in the state’s property tax system.

Cagle, in a breakfast address kicking off the Georgia Municipal Association’s annual Mayors’ Day, said changes will be recommended to ensure “fairness and equity” not only for the cities and counties, but also for taxpayers.

He did not provide details of the plan, but said it would involve “structural changes” in the calculation of fair market value.

Changes in the state’s property tax system are ranking high on legislators’ priority list. Among them are expected to be an easier process for homeowners to challenge the value that county tax appraisers put on their property.

The effort comes after The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported in a major investigation that county tax appraisers are setting values on residential properties higher than they sold for.

The AJC found during an eight-month review of sales values and tax appraisals in Cobb, Clayton, DeKalb, Fulton and Gwinnett counties that assessors regularly ignore sales when they fall below tax appraisals. The study found ZIP codes all over the area where median sales fell more than 30 percent but median tax appraisals dipped between 5 percent and 10 percent.

The study found assessors cut $4.2 billion in taxable value last year through adjustments to more than 450,000 parcels. However, the AJC found that if tax appraisals had been lowered as much as sales dictated, the loss would have been nearly $25 billion.

At his weekly press conference, Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock), said he will soon reveal a list of 40 proposed change to the property tax system. The list comes from a series of hearings that Rogers has been having on property tax reform.

12 comments Add your comment

General Sherman

January 25th, 2010
11:44 am

Please tell us Mr. Lt Gov. how the citizens will get screwed with this fantastic idea?

The Bystander

January 25th, 2010
11:58 am

What happened to the GOP standing for limited government? Why do the Gold Domer folks have to try and run local Boards by changing the appraisal process? Let local folks take care of it. If we don’t like the way the School Board or anything other board is doing things VOTE THEM OUT.

Let’s face facts: It does not matter what property values are. It matters what the milliage rate is. The GOP wants to try to tell the local boards what milliage rate to set. The only way to do that is to reform the Assessor’s office and force the local boards to raise the milliage to meet the local services. Why must the GOP try to meddle with local politics?


January 25th, 2010
12:23 pm

Boy, that local Clayton Co did a great job a couple years ago. The problem with local control is the “buddies” taking care of “buddies”.

Sunny Daze

January 25th, 2010
12:36 pm

Seems like an odd time to be talking about tax breaks even though they are likely warranted.

Joe 6-Pack

January 25th, 2010
1:28 pm

Tax reform, Schmax reform. I’ll believe it when I hold my tax bill in my blue-collar working hand and see that the amount is LOWER and not HIGHER.


Rob Vinson

January 25th, 2010
1:30 pm

We will see. There are 159 counties in this state and that means 159 assessors’ offices and 159 commissioners’ offices. All of the values, state wide are different as are all the millage rates. People have tried to fix it in the past, but it never seems to get fixed…we shall see.


January 25th, 2010
2:34 pm

If Rogers the developer is involved it will not benefit the homeowner but the land speculator.


January 25th, 2010
4:54 pm

hope they have balanced testimony….not just supply siders like laffer who helped start us down the primrose path, note his comment taken from wiki: On 28 August 2006 Peter Schiff predicts the US Economic crisis on CNBC Channel’s Kudlow & Company. Laffer dismissed Schiff’s economic worries; he said there was continuing increases in household wealth as a result of good economic, monetary and trade policy.

nice call!

Aaron Gould Sheinin

January 25th, 2010
5:24 pm

tc, a very interesting point. I’m fascinated by the debate, especially among conservatives, about Laffer and Stephen Moore’s economic theories.


January 25th, 2010
5:29 pm

Aaron, maybe a steel cage death match is in order

Aaron Gould Sheinin

January 25th, 2010
5:51 pm

Oooh, well Casey has that bad back, so I wouldn’t bet on him. I’ve seen Laffer and Moore, and neither looks like they get out in the sun much. Hmmm. Who would you take?


January 25th, 2010
6:57 pm

i’d go with the youth of moore, unless laffer sneaks his curve into the match…much akin to the boomerang.