Developing a Charitable and Targeted Property Tax Relief Fund: An Anti-Displacement Initiative for Atlantaメs Westside Neighborhoods

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Bedsole, Matthew
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For seniors in Atlanta who partake in the senior homestead exemption program, the property taxes increase significantly as soon as their properties are appraised at more than $100,000 (Fulton County Tax Assessor, 2017). Non-seniors will see a surge in their property taxes when their homes are appraised at more than $75,000. Major property taxes and their yearly increases begin taking effect at this point, which would represent an increased cost burden on the homeowning population in these Westside neighborhoods. The Property Tax Relief Fund Program will subsidize increases to existing tax bills, beginning with the base value of the year in which the applicant applied. The base value is determined by the applicant's total property tax bill for the preceding year of application. The homeowner will continue to qualify as long as the owner remains in the home. This subsidy will operate as a grant for a specific cost: the increase in property taxes. All participants of the program that receive this grant will not be required to pay back any portion of their received contribution from the fund. This grant will be considered as an "accession to wealth," which the IRS identifies as a taxable contribution. Therefore, recipients should expect to report any refunds by the Property Tax Relief Fund as taxable income.
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