Tempers flared in meeting halls around Atlanta on Friday as Fulton County homeowners voiced their complaints about skyrocketing property taxes in Fulton County.
Emotions erupted as homeowners packed a small, hot room in Alpharetta to express their concerns to their commissioner and tax assessor.
Many who waited in line for an hour were worried they may lose their homes because they can’t afford to pay the increased taxes.
Taxes increased over 100% in historically black areas such as College Park and Old Fourth Ward. Black homeowners say the high tax increases promotes gentrification by making these areas too expensive for low income homeowners.
Black homeowners complain that the increased property taxes will make it impossible for them to stay in their homes.
Last week the Atlanta City Council passed a resolution asking the county to delay the 2017 tax assessment digest.
City Councilwoman Mary Norwood, who is running for mayor, said “My concern is, that the clock is ticking for thousands and thousands of residents.”
But Norwood showed no such concern in 2014 when she voted to increase property taxes as high as 50% in black areas of Atlanta.
Also running for mayor are Atlanta City Council President Ceasar Mitchell and Councilman Kwanza Hall — both of whom voted to raise property taxes in 2014.
Norwood, Hall and Mitchell have publicly expressed sympathy for property owners who are hit with massive tax bills in 2017. All three are hoping their constituents forget that they voted to increase their property taxes.
Homeowners now wonder if the concerns expressed by the three leading mayoral candidates are politically motivated.
If Norwood is elected mayor of Atlanta, she will be the city’s first white mayor in 44 years.
Ceasar Mitchell, pictured below with his daughter, is running on a campaign of inclusivity. He plans to make Gay Pride rainbow painted crosswalks a permanent fixture in midtown Atlanta.