Ga. Supreme Court reinstates tax lawsuit

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ATLANTA -- The Georgia Supreme Court has reversed a lower court's decision and reinstated a lawsuit by a man who claims that some private Atlanta development projects have received unconstitutional tax breaks.

By a 4-3 vote, the court ruled today that the lower court prematurely dismissed a lawsuit by John Sherman, president of the Fulton County Taxpayers Foundation, before reviewing all the facts.

Sherman's suit alleges that the methods used by the Fulton County Board of Assessors to assess the value of properties called "bond transaction leaseholds" is illegal and unconstitutional.

Sherman says bond transaction leasehold estates are assessed at less than fair market value and developers pay less in property taxes.

The high court's majority says the trial court was wrong to dismiss the case based only on written arguments.

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