Is There Discrimination in Property Taxation? Evidence from Atlanta, Georgia, 2010-2016
52 Pages Posted: 21 Aug 2019 Last revised: 11 Sep 2019
Date Written: August 18, 2019
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: Suggested Citation