Go to the next article or back to the Color of Money index or Power Reporting


The Color of Money

Follow-ups and reaction

Lomax house reassessed; taxes up $520

By Bill Dedman, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published May 6, 1988, Page A14

Copyright 1988, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Michael Lomax's guesthouse, the one for which he had trouble getting a loan, will now cost him $519.98 more on his property taxes.

On Sunday the guesthouse built by the Fulton County Commission chairman was pictured on the front page of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution with an article about blacks having trouble receiving home loans.

On Wednesday, the value of his property was increased 35 percent, to $100,800 from $74,780.

It's just a coincidence, said Webster R. Pope, the vice chairman of the Joint City-County Board of Tax Assessors. He said the board was merely catching up on its normal review of improved properties based on building permits.

However, Pope said the appraisal inspection was made this week, and he said he could not locate the file to determine when the appraisal was ordered.

Lomax could not be reached for comment. An aide, Earnest Moore, said, "I'm sure he'll be delighted. He has complained that homes in southwest Atlanta are not valued as high as they should be."

If tax rates remain the same, his city and county property tax would rise to $2,056.50 from $1,536.52.

Lomax and many other southwest Atlanta residents had not been included in last month's reassessment of some 60,000 homes in the county. The board raised the assessments to reflect market values. Some assessments increased by 500 percent.

The commission chairman had criticized the general reassessment, at first calling for the changes to be canceled, then joining in a commission resolution calling for review of all increases over 50 percent.

As described Sunday, Lomax added the guesthouse last fall beside his house on Willis Mill Road in Adams Park. His building permit says the estimated cost of the addition would be $69,000. He financed the construction, and refinanced his home, with a loan from First Union Bank for $115,200, after two other banks had turned down his loan application. He said banks were unnecessarily fearful of lending money in black neighborhoods.


Go to the next article or back to the Color of Money index or Power Reporting


Reprinted with permission from The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution. Further reproduction, retransmission or distribution of these materials without the prior written consent of The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution, and any copyright holder identified in the material's copyright notice, is prohibited.


Please send comments and story ideas to Bill Dedman, Bill@PowerReporting.com

Home page: Power Reporting