In that great gettin’-up evening, when the Republican Party’s biggest check writers at last got what they thought they’d already paid for, there were a lot of scenes you’re likely to see revisited in political battles across the country next year.
Fulton County and the Atlanta school district face fiscal woes even though a judge has approved a temporary collection of property taxes. Their cost of borrowing could increase now that a bond rating house has cut the credit rating on one county debt and has placed a total of more than $500 million of county and Atlanta school debt under review for a possible credit downgrade in the future.
In the aftermath of a taxpayers’ revolt over a surge in many 2017 Fulton County home property tax bills, local government leaders are trying to figure out how to dodge the pitchforks and torches next time. A cap on home property tax increases could be part of the plan.
Every year, industries approach Georgia lawmakers asking for new or renewed tax breaks, promising leaps in job growth, industry expansion, or some other worthwhile payoff. But the state is a laggard at checking back on tax breaks and seeing what they do — or don’t — deliver.
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.
The reception I’ve received from well-wishers welcoming me back to TSR (Uh-huh, that’s what I’m calling the SaportaReport from now on) has been flattering, as well as humbling. My sincere thanks to everyone who has posted a message on this website, texted, tweeted, emailed or called me with their congratulations on my admittedly wayward return to journalism. I truly appreciate your support and I’ll do my best not to screw this up.
While all that goodwill is still fresh on my mind, I wanted to highlight the comments of Shirley Franklin who is not only the former Mayor of Atlanta, but also a whip-smart policy wonk and all-around good egg.