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Fulton County

Fulton County Property Assessments Might Get A Rollback

Jun 20, 2017
Fulton County officials have searched for solutions to address this year's property assessment hikes that have residents concerned.
Miranda Hawkins / WABE

Fulton County's Board of Commissioners will vote Wednesday on whether or not to rescind this year's property assessments.

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Homeowners have been up in arms over spikes in their property values; some higher than 50 percent. These property assessments dictate how much people pay in taxes.

Fulton Commission Chairman John Eaves said his office found an obscure 1880's law that gives Fulton’s Board of Commissioners power to rescind property assessments.

Chairman John Eaves argues why he believes the Fulton's Board of Assessors should rescind this year's property assessments pending a 30-day review.
Miranda Hawkins / WABE

The Fulton County Board of Assessors says it will decide next week whether to rescind this year's property assessments.

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The County Commission chair and vice chair asked the board to rescind the assessments after many homeowners saw big hikes in their property assessments, some as high as 50 percent.

The board called a special meeting to consider the request.


Fulton County Chairman John Eaves and Vice Chairman Bob Ellis have requested the county's Board of Assessors to rescind this year's property assessments pending a 30-day review.
Miranda Hawkins / WABE

Some Fulton County officials want this year's property tax assessments declared invalid.

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County Commission Chairman John Eaves and Vice Chairman Bob Ellis have requested that the Board of Assessors rescind the assessments pending a 30-day review.

Homeowners have been upset with jumps in their property assessments; some are seeing spikes as high as 50 percent.


Jeff Daly / Invision/AP

Tuesday on "Closer Look with Rose Scott and Jim Burress":

Fulton County Chairman John Eaves says the majority of bumps in property tax assessments are in-line with other counties, like Cobb and Gwinnett.
Miranda Hawkins / WABE

In the two weeks since Fulton County sent out property assessments, there have been so many complaints that county officials have had to respond.

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So the county's considering options.

Commission Chairman John Eaves said the county's considering rolling back the millage rate on property taxes.

"This will mean that all property owners will pay at the same rate as they did in 2016," he said.

Fulton County Sees Spike In Property Tax Assessments

Jun 1, 2017
Fulton County officials say the hike in property owners tax assessments are "in-line" with market trends.
Al Such / WABE

Fulton County is expecting more property tax appeals this year, so it's extending the appeal deadline.

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So many assessments have gone up that county commission Chairman John Eaves put out a news release reminding people they can appeal. The deadline has been extended from July 3 to the July 10.

He says higher property taxes are bad news because of good news.


Georgia Gets Ready For Unpredictable Mosquito Season

May 18, 2017
2006 photo from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta shows a female Aedes aegypti mosquito acquiring a blood meal from a human host.
James Gathany / AP/CDC

Fulton County has already started spraying for mosquitoes, but it can be hard to predict how bad the bugs will be.

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Fulton County started its mosquito control program in 2001, when Georgia saw its first case of West Nile virus. Kathleen Toomey, the county's health director, said Fulton has continued the program because of other mosquito-borne diseases, like Zika.

Ali Guillory / WABE

Residents of the brand new city of South Fulton are choosing their first mayor and City Council.

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Early voting in the runoff election is this week, and election day is Tuesday.

Courtesy of Fulton County District Attorney

The attorney for a black man shot by Atlanta police last month says the officer had no reason to fear for his life and a video released today proves it.

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Surveillance footage shows DeAundre Phillips sitting in the passenger seat of a car at the Atlanta Public Safety Annex.

Two plain-clothes officers approach him. They talk with Phillips and then there's a struggle.

Phillips crawls into the driver's seat to drive off, when one officer jumps through the passenger door.

Claude "Tex" McIver
Fulton County Sheriff's Office via AP

A Fulton County judge has denied a request from District Attorney Paul Howard to stop a prominent Atlanta lawyer from selling his late wife's assets.

Claude “Tex” McIver faces involuntary manslaughter and reckless conduct charges in the shooting death of his wife, Diane, in September.

Last month, McIver held a sale of her clothing and jewelry. An auction of more items is planned for this weekend.

On Friday afternoon, Judge Constance Russell denied Howard’s emergency motion to stop McIver from auctioning her belongings.

At a Chevron gas station in Midtown Atlanta, gas prices were $2.69 on Thursday, a few days after the Alpharetta-based Colonial Pipeline explosion.
Tasnim Shamma / WABE

Fulton County is looking for solutions to a wave of carjackings and robberies at some of its gas stations.

The crimes have been especially bad in the southern end of the county. One gas station there had more than 70 incidents last year.

To combat the thefts, county commissioners considered two different long term proposals Wednesday —one from the county chief of police and the other from the district attorney.

Both involve setting up a multi-jurisdiction group of police officers from the county and cities like Atlanta and College Park.

Fulton County Wants To Make Gas Stations Safer

Dec 21, 2016
Miranda Hawkins / WABE

Crime at gas stations have been on the rise for the last year in parts of Fulton County.

That’s according to county commission chair John Eaves who says he’s taking steps toward a solution.

Fulton County police have already increased patrols at gas stations. And Eaves says commissioners will talk next week about creating legislation requiring gas stations to beef up security.

“We don’t want one gas station to do a lot, and then the bad guys run to the gas station that’s doing nothing or little,” Eaves said.

Jeffrey Sprecher, chairman of the Intercontinental Exchange, New York Stock Exchange and 2017 chair-elect of the Metro Atlanta Chamber spoke about the importance of opposing discriminatory bills at the chambers annual meeting on Wednesday.
Tasnim Shamma / WABE

The Metro Atlanta Chamber said it will keep fighting any religious freedom legislation that gets introduced in Georgia's Legislature next year.

SunTrust Bank executive vice president and Metro Atlanta Chamber chair Jenner Wood said even the discussion of religious liberty bills like the one Governor Nathan Deal vetoed earlier this year, is not healthy for business.

A sunken boat is exposed by receding water levels on Lake Lanier. Rainfall is expected Monday night, but water restrictions are expected to stay in place through the winter months.
David Goldman / Associated Press

After more than 42 days of no rain in metro Atlanta, scattered showers are expected Monday evening, with steadier rain overnight.

In Cobb County, the rain will be “the first rain in Cobb in 67 days, a record since record keeping began in the 1880s,” according to Kathy Nguyen, the county’s water department’s senior project manager.  

Jason Lary is chairman of the Stonecrest YES Committee. He launched a campaign to form the city of Stonecrest in 2012.
Glenn L. Morgan / OCG News

Voters approved two new cities in metro Atlanta last week: Stonecrest in DeKalb County and South Fulton in Fulton County. Cityhood leaders are now getting ready to form new governments.

About four years ago, DeKalb County resident Jason Lary noticed a trend:

"Brookhaven, Dunwoody, Sandy Springs, Peachtree Corners. Every city that branched off flourished. Flourished. And without raising taxes," said Lary.

Alison Guillory / WABE

The idea to expand MARTA farther outside Atlanta is floating around, even though it’s not happening right now.

Voters in the City of Atlanta approved two sales taxes on Tuesday: one for MARTA expansion inside the city, and another for transportation-related infrastructure, like roads and sidewalks.

Outside the city, Fulton County voters approved a sales tax to fund road and bridge work in the county, but transit expansion was not on the ballot.

Fulton County Chairman John Eaves said that’s coming next.

Dwight Brower is Fulton County's election chief. He shows off how the elections machines are physically secured. The county is one of three that will have DOJ poll monitors.
Tasnim Shamma / WABE

There will be lots of people watching the general election closely on Tuesday.

That includes the U.S. Justice Department, which is dispatching 500 people to 28 states, including Georgia.

Observers will be in three Georgia counties: Fulton, Gwinnett and Hancock.

The monitors will interview poll workers and look out for civil rights violations, such as discrimination based on race or language.

Ronda Hinton said it took her 20 minutes to vote early because there was confusion over whether she was registered to vote. She successfully cast hear ballot early in Fulton County at the Southeast Atlanta Public Library on Tuesday.
Tasnim Shamma / WABE

Georgia voters made history this year with more than 2.3 million people casting their votes early – surpassing a record set in 2008.

A total of 2,381,416 people cast their votes early or with an absentee ballot. In 2008, 2,129,316 people cast their votes early.

In metro Atlanta, several counties – including Gwinnett, Cobb and Fulton – beat their early voting records set in the last presidential election.

Fulton County Commision Chairman John Eaves in the WABE Atlanta Studio, April 9, 2015.
Alison Guillory / WABE

Monday on "Closer Look with Rose Scott and Jim Burress":

Willie Grover voted early in Fulton County at the Southeast Atlanta Public Library for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Tasnim Shamma / WABE

The final presidential debate between the top two candidates, Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton, is Wednesday night, but more than 146,500 Georgia voters have already cast their ballots.

Heyward Young, a resident of Atlanta's Old Fourth Ward, said he doesn't need to see any more debates and is looking forward to the end of the election.

Chris Ferguson / WABE

Fulton County sent letters to registered voters to tell them where to vote next month, but many of them ended up at wrong addresses or left voters confused.

In Susan White's case, the mistake was obvious.

She got a letter telling her to vote in Fulton County at Morningside Baptist Church. The problem is, she lives in DeKalb County.

"Someone maybe does need to vote at Morningside Baptist. But they're not at my house," said White.

Fulton County blames a vendor for using address forwarding records and sending thousands of letters to incorrect homes.

Fulton County leaders cut the ribbon in front of the new Select Fulton office space in the Fulton County Government Center. The new center places the Development Authority and Economic Development Division in one office space.
Tasnim Shamma / WABE

There are 14 cities in Fulton County and, if you're a company looking to relocate in or near Atlanta, until recently you might have had each of those cities vying for your business.

Fulton County has had both an economic development division, where people were working to attract new business, and a development authority with the folks working out the details.

Select Fulton County's CEO Alan Nash said it was difficult for business project managers.

“They didn't know who to call, we'd add confusion to the thing," Nash said.

Al Such / WABE

The Georgia Supreme Court Monday dismissed the city of Atlanta’s attempt to annex valuable property in part of unincorporated Fulton County.

In a unanimous decision, the court threw out the case, saying Atlanta didn’t pass a local annexation ordinance and that the court couldn’t rule on proposed legislation.

The new $1.5 million command center at the Fulton County Courthouse will be able to access all cameras in Fulton County government buildings.
Alison Guillory / WABE

More than 11 years since an accused rapist, Brian Nichols, killed three people at the Fulton County Courthouse in March of 2005, the county has opened a new, high-tech security command center.

Doris Downs was chief judge of the Fulton County Superior Court at the time of the shootings.

"We have over 50 courts presiding over massive calendars of very serious disputes, so it is critical that security is our utmost concern,” Downs said.


"About 30 years ago, I went into a restaurant and I didn't have enough money to eat," said Terralynn King.

She went to jail that night. She said at the time she had a drinking problem and was charged with disorderly conduct. She's 53 now and has put five kids through college. She said finding work has been a huge struggle with that arrest on her record.

"You get paid less," King said. "You have to do menial jobs. You get paid under the table. You have to encourage people in recovery not to go backwards and rob somebody."

Elly Yu / WABE

In the wake of recent police shootings across the country, Fulton County’s police chief said he’s considering the creation of special units to help officers in the field respond to people with mental illnesses.

At a meeting of Fulton County mayors Wednesday, Chief Gary Stiles cited the recent fatal shooting this week of a black man in California, when police were called to investigate a report about a mentally unstable man.  

David Goldman / Associated Press

In 2008 and 2012 Fulton County mishandled ballots and its lists were missing thousands of registered voters’ names. The county has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in penalties and in upgrading its election software, and officials are hoping this coming presidential election goes more smoothly than the last two.

The voter registration deadline is Oct. 11. Early voting in Fulton starts Oct. 17 and ends Nov. 4. Election Day is Nov. 8.

Elly Yu / WABE

A Fulton County judge ruled on Thursday that Atlanta's recent annexations of several neighborhoods in unincorporated South Fulton are not valid.

Atlanta annexed five neighborhoods in the area earlier this year – neighborhoods that could become part of a different city: the city of South Fulton. In November, voters in the only unincorporated part left of Fulton County will decide whether or not to incorporate.

In his decision Thursday, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Alford Dempsey ruled the city’s annexation process was “untimely” and didn’t follow state law.

If Congress doesn't reach an agreement on the federal Highway Trust Fund, Georgia could have to reduce the number of highway projects it moves forward with starting in September.
Faith Williams / WABE

This week Fulton County commissioners will meet to officially place a $.75 sales tax on November's ballot.

If voters approve it, the tax would fund transportation projects worth several hundred million dollars in county areas outside of Atlanta.

Each Fulton County city outside of Atlanta developed a list of projects to be included in the Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax – or T-SPLOST.

The Fulton County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Wednesday not to tear down Central Library.
Tasnim Shamma / WABE

Atlanta's Central Library downtown will be getting an upgrade.

After many months of public debate on whether to build a new library or renovate the existing one, the Fulton County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Wednesday not to tear down the building.

The Atlanta-Fulton County Public Library system will now select an architecture firm to work with it on designing the renovated spaces and coming up with the actual cost.