Atlanta BeltLine tax values: Vacant tract more than doubles, homes up more than 50 percent

By David Pendered

Talk about rising tax values for property near the Atlanta BeltLine. Fulton County’s tax assessor this year more than doubled the value of a vacant lot near the Westside Trail. The value of some homes near the BeltLine was increased by more than 50 percent over last year’s values.

Westside Trail, December 2016

The tax value of a vacant tract of land that measures 7,500 feet was more than doubled this year by Fulton County’s tax assessor. The tract is located near the Atlanta BeltLine’s Westside Trail. The trail is to open this summer. Credit: beltline.org

This is the reality of a situation that Fulton County addressed in a statement that observed:

  • “This year’s assessments reflect significant valuation increases in many portions of the County, in line with market trends. … The median change for residential parcels across Fulton County is approximately 13 percent.”

Fulton’s tax assessor set the value of the vacant tract at $47,300 this year. The value was $23,000 from 2009 through 2016, tax records show. That’s the value of only the land; the building value is zero, tax records show.

The vacant lot consists of 0.1722 acres – it measures 50 feet by 150 feet. The property is located at 1135 Allene Ave. The land is zoned I-2, an industrial classification that means it could be developed for uses ranging from a bar and restaurant to an urban farm or cell tower site.

The county’s parcel map shows it to be on the west side of Allene Avenue, between Warner and Woodrow streets, and just south of Murphy Triangle.

Another example is a townhome near the Krog Street Market, located along Irwin Place. The county increased its value by 63 percent – to $624,200 from $381,800.

Irwin Place

Irwin Place, located near Krog Street Market, was built by a non-profit developer as a mixed income project. Tax values on one unit were increased this year by 63 percent, to $624,200, and the tax bill is to be 44 percent higher than last year. File/Credit: David Pendered

The tax bill is going to be 44 percent higher than last year – up to $9,446.24 from $6,566.96. That’s according to a calculation using the homestead exemption of $30,000 and a tax rate of 0.043. That’s the rate that Daniel Immergluck, now of Georgia State University, used in his recent analysis to calculate the expected tax consequences of rising land prices along the BeltLine.

Another example is a vacant tract that abuts the Eastside Trail and overlooks Piedmont Park. The tract on Park Drive measures 0.25 acres.

The county valued the property this year at $71,500. The value was $37,300 in 2016 and 2015. This year’s valuation puts the county’s value above what it was in 2009, $62,700, just as the Great Recession crushed property values. In 2010, the vacant tract was valued at $26,700.

Just up the street from the vacant tract, the county’s value of a house rose by 24 percent – to $670,500 from $540,000.

The tax bill is going to be 28 percent higher this year than last – up to $10,243.60 from $8,006.60, according to the same calculation using a tax rate of 0.043.

In this situation, it’s the land value driving the increase. The land value nearly doubled between this year and last year – to $266,900 from $139,200.

Park Drive, BeltLine tax values

The value of a house on Park Drive was increased 24 percent this year by Fulton County’s tax assossor. The road abuts the Atlanta BeltLine at Piedmont Park. Credit: David Pendered, photo taken June 2015.

Considering that the site is 0.195 acres, the county has set the value of an acre of land in this area at about $1.3 million.

Another situation where a leap in the land value drove up the county’s total valuation is on Kennolia Drive, in Southwest Atlanta. It dead ends at the Southwest Connector Spur Trail, which is to be built along Westwood Avenue into the Lionel Hampton Nature Preserve.

The value has seesawed since 2009 as it evidently bore the brunt of values driven by speculators.

This year the county valued it at $53,100. That’s up 53 percent from last year – to $53,100 from $34,700. But it’s still 27 percent lower than in 2009 — $73,100.

The value of the land was increased by 71 percent – to $14,400 from $8,400. The site measures 0.27 acres. At the peak in 2009, the land was valued at $19,200.

The tax record shows that no sales information is available for the site. Sometimes that means the last sales occurred a long time ago. The house is described as covered with vinyl siding and aluminum, has two bedrooms and one bath, was built in 1950 and consists of 1,212 square feet with a wood back deck that measure about 12 feet by 12 feet.

 

David Pendered, Managing Editor, is an Atlanta journalist with more than 30 years experience reporting on the region’s urban affairs, from Atlanta City Hall to the state Capitol. Since 2008, he has written for print and digital publications, and advised on media and governmental affairs. Previously, he spent more than 26 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and won awards for his coverage of schools and urban development. David graduated from North Carolina State University and was a Western Knight Center Fellow. David was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in North Carolina and is married to a fifth-generation Atlantan.

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