"There hasn't been a consistent reassessment process in theFulton County tax assessor's office," Rob Metcalf, managingdirector of JLL's Atlanta office, tells GlobeSt.com. "Someproperties haven't been revalued in the last ten years or so.There's a huge discrepancy in the last valuation thatoccurred."

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Many of the estimated property tax increases appear somewhatnormal for the city's landmark buildings such as Bank of AmericaPlaza in Downtown Atlanta, which faces 18% higher taxes of $6.7million this year compared to what it paid for 2007, according toJLL figures. Other trophy assets with big tax bills includeMidtown's One Atlantic Center at $4.2 million, up 30%, andDowntown's 191 Peachtree at $2.5 million, up 73%.

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Other properties face percentage increases in triple digits, andquadruple in one rare case. The Pinnacle office tower in Buckhead,which changed hands in recent years, faces a 208% higher tax billof $3.7 million this year, and Two Peachtree Pointe in Midtown sawits property taxes go up 316% to $1.5 million.

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One more statistical anomaly occurred at the 55 Allen Plazabuilding Downtown, which went from paying $96,090 in property taxeslast year to at least $1.4 million this year—a hike of 1,240%,based on JLL's analysis. Metcalf attributes that to an unusualsituation in which the building benefited from previous taxabatements based on its location.

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Office landlords in Atlanta are reluctant to discuss the higherproperty tax bills because of ongoing negotiations with the FultonCounty tax assessor for possible relief. However, Metcalf pointsout that tenants will likely get the worst of it because theincreases will likely be passed through in the form of higherrents.

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The property tax hikes couldn't happen at a worse time fortenants seeking new or better space at a bargain, or to renewcurrent leases at more favorable rents, according to Metcalf. "Thetaxes and the economy are counterbalancing the flight to qualitythat traditionally happens in a downturn," he says.

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Buckhead is the most expensive of Atlanta's three major officemarkets, averaging nearly $28 per sf, while Midtown is around $23per sf and Downtown is just above $19 per sf, according to JLLfigures.

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