Georgia Supreme Court Revives Fulton County Taxpayers Foundation Lawsuit

The Georgia Supreme Court overturned a lower court’s dismissal of the Fulton County Taxpayers Foundation‘s legal challenge to tax breaks granted by the County to six large developments in Buckhead and Midtown that include The St. Regis Buckhead, The InterContinental Buckhead and The Mandarin Oriental Hotel Midtown.

The Fulton County Board of Assessors assigned to these development projects a “50 percent valuation formula” to determine the fair market value of the property.  Under the formula, the board agrees to initially value the estate at 50 percent of its overall fair market value and then increase the value by 5 percent a year over the value of the lease.

The lawsuit alleges that this valuation formula is unconstitutional and illegal because it allows the developers to pay less than their fair share of property taxes because the estates were initially appraised at less than fair market value.

The trial court had dismissed the lawsuit without hearing any evidence.  The case now proceeds to trial.

You can find a copy of the Court’s decision here.

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