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

52 Pages Posted: 21 Aug 2019 Last revised: 11 Sep 2019

See all articles by Michael Makovi

Michael Makovi

Texas Tech University, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics; Texas Tech University - Free Market Institute

Date Written: August 18, 2019

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.

Keywords: egressive; property tax;discrimination; segregation; racism

JEL Classification: H22, H71, R38, R51

Suggested Citation

Makovi, Michael, Is There Discrimination in Property Taxation? Evidence from Atlanta, Georgia, 2010-2016 (August 18, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3438838 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3438838

Michael Makovi (Contact Author)

Texas Tech University, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics ( email )

Box 42132
Lubbock, TX 79409-2132
United States

Texas Tech University - Free Market Institute ( email )

Box 45059
Lubbock, TX 79409-5059
United States

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