Dunwoody residents whose homes gained value over the last three years will get money back because they were overcharged on their property tax bills.
The refunds will be paid as a result of reporting by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and questions raised by Sen. Fran Millar, R-Atlanta, and DeKalb County Commissioner Nancy Jester.
Mayor Mike Davis confirmed the city of Dunwoody already determined that two homeowners are due refunds for 2012.The city plans to expedite the mailing of those payments, Davis said.
The total for those refunds will be less than $300, Chris Pike, Dunwoody’s finance director, said. He said he expects to determine how many homeowners will get refunds for years 2013 and 2014 within a week.
“We’ve gathered all the data for 2012 and determined only two homeowners will receive refunds for that year, totaling less than $300 combined,” Pike said. “The city is still working with DeKalb County Tax Commissioner’s Office to determine 2013 and 2014 homeowners affected.”
Pike said the majority or homeowners won’t get a refund because average home values still remain below the 2009 assessed levels. Moving forward, the city foresees minimal budgetary impact and refunds will not diminish funding for prioritized government services or initiatives such as public safety or paving, Pike said.
The mayor added that he believes any organization can and does make mistakes like this and the “real story” is how officials respond to the mistake.
“My attitude is we made a mistake and are working to fix it,” Davis said. “The total refund won’t be a lot for the city to handle and the refund per resident shouldn’t be very large. Dunwoody’s tax digest didn’t get hit as hard as other parts of the metro area so the recovery in values hasn’t been extreme either.”