Fulton County’s embattled chief appraiser lost his job Thursday, following months of frustration from county leaders about tax bills that did not go out on time.
The chief appraiser, David Fitzgibbon, served the county’s board of assessors. The Board of Assessors “made the decision to make a leadership change in the position,” a statement from Fulton County Chairman John Eaves said.
In the statement, Eaves said he fully supports the board’s decision and looks forward “to moving forward with improving efficiency and service” in the office.
“Our citizens expect and deserve government operations that meet the highest professional standards,” he said.
Since an error in calculating property tax exemptions came to light in June, Fitzgibbon has been fielding questions about why the problem was not found earlier. Fitzgibbon blamed the error on a vendor used by the office.
Tax bills went out this week, two months later than normal. The delay in sending tax bills means the county will be late collecting taxes. The delay forced some entities to borrow to cover the gap.
Commissioner Bob Ellis, who has been outspoken in his frustration regarding the tax issue, said he was supportive of the move. The county’s fiscal stewardship had come into question, he said.
Next week, commissioners will consider a proposal that would require more frequent updates from the new chief appraiser. It was unclear Thursday evening who would be filling the role.
A message left at Fitzgibbon’s office after business hours Thursday was not returned.