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Atlanta homeowners who have lived along the Beltline’s Westside and southwest legs for over five years could qualify for a grant program to help pay their fast-rising property tax bills.
But they need to act fast. 2022 property tax assessments are due Nov. 15, and lower income homeowners can get help paying them through an Atlanta Beltline Partnership program aimed at keeping longtime residents in their homes. The Legacy Resident Retention Program pays the increase in eligible homeowners’ property taxes—all the way through 2030.
Applications approved by Dec. 31 will receive payment for the current tax year, said Beltline Partnership spokesperson Vernessa Roberts, who encouraged people to apply today.
Perhaps Atlanta’s most powerful gentrification engine, the Beltline has been driving up property values—and property taxes—since before the first concrete was poured over the abandoned railway in 2010.
In response, the Beltline Partnership, which is the project’s nonprofit arm, created the Legacy Resident Retention Program in late 2020.
The average grant recipient is 62 years old, makes just $36,629 annually, owns a house valued at $195,940, and has lived there for 22 years, Roberts told Atlanta Civic Circle.
Homeowners earning less than the area median income—or $77,280 for a two-person household—who have lived within roughly a half mile of the path in Westside and southwest Atlanta neighborhoods since before March 2017 are eligible.
Although the Beltline Partnership estimates 2,500 homeowners are eligible for the program, it currently assists just 70 people—and has funding to sharply expand that. “We are actively sharing with others to help more people,” Roberts said.
The program currently has $3.5 million available for property tax grants, largely funded by the Robert W. Woodruff and James M. Cox Foundations. The Beltline Partnership expects it will take $12.5 million to propel the program through 2030.
I don’t get it, with all the new buildings and people moving in, you would think the city is collecting more money. Are these builders and owners not paying their fair share of property taxes? Or are the tax increases designed to make regular people move out so big real estate could expand their operations. Atlanta city planners have no consideration for its citizens.
I live next to where the path will be built in Peachtree Hills. I’m a senior and my income is far below that which is mentioned as qualifying, but our area isn’t included in this program. I think they shouldn’t just limit this to certain neighborhoods but make it an income-based assistance program so ALL low income residents who have lived here for decades won’t be priced out of the homes we thought we would live in for the rest of our lives.
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