ATLANTA (AP) -- Commissioners in Georgia's most populous county have approved a 17 percent property tax hike.<br />
Fulton County commissioners on Wednesday approved the increase with a 4-3 vote.<br />
The increase is the first of its kind in more than two decades.<br />
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (http://on-ajc.com/1skqrx2 ) that the tax hike is expected to pay for countywide services like libraries, courts and social services.<br />
It would cost the owner of a $275,000 home an extra $140 a year if the property's value remains unchanged.<br />
Fulton County Commission Chairman John Eaves has said that declining revenues and increased costs have left the county with a $40 million to $50 million budget shortfall.<br />
Opponents of the increase say the county should cut spending and live within its means, rather than raise taxes.
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