State lawmakers will try again this year to rein in the sale of overdue property tax bills to private collection firms, aiming to cut profits for both the Fulton County tax collector and his biggest buyer of tax liens.
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Staff Writer Aaron Gould Sheinin contributed to this article.
TELLING OUR STORY
For the past three years, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has covered an array of issues involving the Fulton County Tax Commissioner’s Office, including its sales of tax debts to private collection firms and tax chief Arthur Ferdinand’s take-home pay. Through $1-per-parcel fees charged to Atlanta, Johns Creek and Sandy Springs, Ferdinand boosts his annual pay by hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, making him the state’s highest-paid elected official.
Last year, the AJC revealed how Ferdinand’s quick sales of delinquent tax bills handed millions of dollars in potential revenue to Vesta Holdings, the biggest lien buyer, with a corresponding loss to taxpayers.
Another investigation revealed he has been earning an extra $22,000 to $31,000 per year by taking 50 cents every time he sells a tax lien to a collector or a taxpayer pays off a lien himself or herself.
Today’s story describes how outraged state lawmakers seek to tighten restrictions on tax lien sales.
Log on to MyAJC.com to learn more about how Tax Commissioner Arthur Ferdinand profits from the controversial tax collection system he set up. Then read more of the AJC’s coverage of his extra payments, including:
» His receipts from the federal government through the EQIP program
» Documents pertaining to Ferdinand’s FiFa fee requests and extra payments received