A three-year battle over property assessments lays the foundation for a candidacy based on reform.
He's been described at the proverbial Mr. Smith going to Washington. But R.J. Morris doesn't mind the comparison. The Old Fourth Ward resident has developed a reputation for successfully going head to head with Fulton County property tax officials over flawed assessments. He's won each time. Now, Morris, who on Monday spoke to a group of Inman Park homeowners over their property assessment increases, is running for tax commissioner. He is looking to unseat Arthur E. Ferdinand, a fixture in that post for the last 15 years. He sat down with East Atlanta Patch to discuss why he's running and the key three issues fueling his campaign:
Residents see assessed valuations increase in down market.
In a down housing market where recent home sales don't show a surge in house prices, Scott Osmon wonders why the Fulton County Tax Assessors Office shows his 2,400-square-foot home jumped 20 percent in assessed value. So do his Inman Park neighbors, especially since the median price of a home in the Fulton County side of the 30307 Zip code, which includes that neighborhood, fell 6.04 percent in 2011 to $276,250 from $294,000 in 2010, according an Atlanta Journal-Constitution home sales analysis. "Clearly, when valuations have been going down, to have our assessments go up is silly," Osmon told East Atlanta Patch. Osmon, who, along with his wife, Elizabeth, put together a meeting Monday night of Inman Park homeowners regarding assessments, …