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Is There Discrimination in Property Taxation? Evidence from Atlanta, Georgia, 2010-2016

Michael Makovi ()

Journal of Housing Economics, 2022, vol. 56, issue C

Abstract: In the past, some localities have taxed blacks at higher real rates than whites by over-assessing property values in predominately blacks neighborhoods while taxing those properties at the same nominal rates. In 1974, the NAACP sued Fulton County, Georgia – the principal county of the Atlanta metro area – over this very issue. In 1991, a mass reappraisal intended to remedy this discrimination incited a tax revolt in Fulton. However, there are few recent studies of whether discrimination is still taking place. Using assessment data from Fulton County 2010-2016, I find little to no evidence of any racial or socioeconomic discrimination in ratios of property assessment to sale prices. This suggests that (1) the assessment process is uniform and non-discriminatory, and/or (2) the process and fee for appealing one's assessment is not inaccessible to a degree that would allow any disparities to persist, and/or (3) regression-based mass appraisal techniques are capable of eliminating racial discrimination from property assessment.

Keywords: regressive; Property tax; discrimination; Segregation; Racism (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jhe.2022.101824

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