More Than Their Share: Property Taxes in Atlanta Neighborhoods Hardest Hit by Foreclosures: As the Foreclosure Crisis Continues to Decimate Neighborhoods across the Country, It Leaves in Its Wake Displaced Families, Vacant Homes and the Potential for Inflated Property Taxes

By Adams, Susan | Partners in Community and Economic Development, Summer 2009 | Go to article overview

More Than Their Share: Property Taxes in Atlanta Neighborhoods Hardest Hit by Foreclosures: As the Foreclosure Crisis Continues to Decimate Neighborhoods across the Country, It Leaves in Its Wake Displaced Families, Vacant Homes and the Potential for Inflated Property Taxes


Adams, Susan, Partners in Community and Economic Development


Property taxes that fail to reflect sinking market values create an unfair burden on residents of high-foreclosure neighborhoods. Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership (ANDP), a housing nonprofit that for 18 years has focused on development, lending and public policy to support mixed-income communities, has identified the need to address property tax disparities as a critical part of a comprehensive regional foreclosure response strategy.

"Distressed neighborhoods will not begin to stabilize and come out of this crisis until vacant homes are occupied again," said John O'Callaghan, president and CEO of ANDP. "When property taxes are out of line with true market values, it not only hurts families struggling to keep their homes, it deters future buyers from moving into the neighborhood--leaving homes empty and values depressed. This is both an equity issue, ensuring that impacted homeowners do not pay more than their share, and a neighborhood recovery issue."

What accounts for inflated property taxes in high-foreclosure communities? Until very recently, tax assessors in Georgia and many other states did not consider foreclosed and bank-owned home sales in their property valuation assessment formulas, which include a review of recent comparable sales. As a matter of standard practice, foreclosed and bank-owned sales were considered "invalid" or outlying sales and not representative of the market as a whole.

However, the real estate market in Georgia and metro Atlanta has changed dramatically over the last two years. Georgia ranked eighth in the nation in foreclosure filings in 2008. Last year, there were more than 85,000 foreclosure filings in the state--44 percent more than in 2007 and a 117 percent more than in 2006. Metro Atlanta accounts for 81 percent of Georgia's foreclosures. In fact, Atlanta ranks third nationally (behind only Las Vegas and Detroit) in the number of vacant rental units and single family homes, according to U.S. Census Bureau statistics.

ANDP first developed experience in the impact of property tax issues on lower-income families in 2008, when the organization led a successful effort to double the Homestead Exemption for the City of Atlanta and Fulton County. Through its "Keep Atlantans Home" campaign, ANDP found legislative sponsors in the Georgia General Assembly; researched best practices on Homestead Exemptions; built a broad network of support within and beyond the affordable housing community; and generated hundreds of calls and emails to legislators.

At the close of the 2008 General Assembly session, legislators voted to increase the Atlanta-Fulton Homestead Exemption from $15,000 to $30,000 over three years. (It had not been updated since 19930 Voters overwhelmingly approved the measure on the November ballot, resulting in an estimated $23 million annually in property tax savings for low- and moderate-income homeowners.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

"We knew from our Homestead efforts and experience in development that higher property taxes were a serious obstacle for lower-income neighborhoods," said Sharon Gay, ANDP's Board Chair. "As we retooled ANDP to focus all of our attention and resources on foreclosure response, we directed our policy efforts to address the impact of the crisis on property taxes."

Research shows highest-foreclosure areas run greatest overpayment risk

To understand and quantify the risk for overpayment of property taxes in Atlanta's highest-foreclosure neighborhoods, ANDP hired Robert Charles Lesser and Company (RCLCO), a national real estate advisory firm, to compare home sale prices and tax-appraised values in the five-county core of metro Atlanta (Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton and Gwinnett Counties). The scope of RCLCO's review included the 15 ZIP codes across the metro core with the highest foreclosure filing rates.

The initial report from RCLCO, which included home sales from the first six months of 2008, found that the 15 highest-foreclosure ZIP codes would account for an estimated $71.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

More Than Their Share: Property Taxes in Atlanta Neighborhoods Hardest Hit by Foreclosures: As the Foreclosure Crisis Continues to Decimate Neighborhoods across the Country, It Leaves in Its Wake Displaced Families, Vacant Homes and the Potential for Inflated Property Taxes
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.