State Lawmakers Sue Fulton County

Aug 9, 2014

Six Fulton state lawmakers and one former state lawmaker have filed suit against Fulton County to block Fulton from raising its property tax rate. The legal action comes after the Fulton commission voted to raise the county’s millage rate by more than 17% this week. Those suing the county claim it violates a state law that says the county cannot raise its property tax rate until 2015.

House Speaker Pro Tem Jan Jones, R-Milton, is among those filing suit.  Jones said the commission’s decision to raise the property tax rate is ill timed and clearly breaks the 2013 law she authored.

“The law explicitly states that Fulton County cannot increase the property tax rate until 2015 and it requires a super majority thereafter. It is based on a constitutional provision that was put in the state constitution in 1951 and pertains only to Fulton County,” said Jones.

Meanwhile, Fulton Commission Chairman John Eaves believes the county is well within its rights.

“I do feel that the action by the board of commission this week is well within in our legal grounds, our limits. We feel that the legislation passed by the general assembly a couple years ago is an infringement of home rule,” said Eaves.

Besides Jones, other filing suit include: Rep. Lynne Riley, R-John’s Creek; Rep. Wendell Willard, R-Sandy Springs and Rep. Joe Wilkinson, R-Atlanta. Former state Rep. Ed Lindsey, R-Atlanta, is also a plaintiff in the lawsuit.

The Fulton County Commission approved the millage rate increase with a 4-3 vote.