Atlanta Keeps Property Taxes Up, Poor Neighborhoods Down

Atlanta neighborhood
Atlanta neighborhood

As if foreclosure-wracked neighborhoods aren't suffering enough, it seems they're also paying more in taxes. According to a study released yesterday by the Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership, homeowners in low-income neighborhoods in Atlanta that have been hard hit by the housing crisis were overcharged on property taxes by as much as $500 per household.

The problem lies with how states and local officials compute property taxes. They do it without taking the effect of foreclosures on home values into account -- leading to tax bills that can quickly exceed a house's value.

What's really painful, though, is that the neighborhoods in the study suffered a whiplash of investment and abandonment not so long ago. I know, because I helped make it happen.