Coinkydinks keep piling up for Sen. Loeffler:
When Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) and her husband, Jeffrey Sprecher, bought a 15,000-square-foot Atlanta mansion known as “Descante” for $10.5 million in 2009, it was the most expensive private home purchase in the city’s history.
The value of the estate, as appraised by Fulton County government officials for the purpose of calculating annual property tax dues, remained the same, $10.5 million, for the next seven years. Then, in 2016, the appraised value suddenly plunged to $4.15 million—a whopping 60 percent decline.
Prepare yourselves for a shock, Gentle Reader:
The result was a dramatic cut to the couple’s property tax bill.
Originally, they were paying $200,000 annually to the city and county governments. In 2016, after their home’s value dropped, they paid $90,000.
Now, we’re not saying that Loeffler is a tax cheat, we’re just saying that this is weird.
The devaluation of the Loeffler-Sprecher estate, and lower tax bill, came after the couple invested significantly in improvements to the property. In 2015, they spent nearly $90,000 to renovate the kitchen, $150,000 to construct a new greenhouse, and $125,000 on various outdoor improvements, records filed with the city show.
And it’s especially striking given that Atlanta was undergoing a real-estate boom at that time. Home prices in the metro area surged by 81 percent from 2012 to 2020, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Now, I could understand if their neighbors property values went down, what with a couple of known grifters moving in next door (Pro tip: don’t loan them any gardening tools), but…
Seven of Loeffler and Sprecher’s eight closest neighbors saw their own property values increase as Descante’s fell, according to records maintained by Fulton County. The couple’s immediate next-door neighbors did see their home’s appraisal shrink—a far more modest decline from $4,152,800 to $3,269,100—but only after they filed an appeal with the county challenging the valuation.
Well, surely the Assessor can explain this, there must be some sort of paper trail…
What was behind the precipitous decline is not apparent in city and county records reviewed by The Daily Beast. In a statement, a spokesperson for Fulton County was unable to offer an explanation, either.
“The employees responsible for these changes, including the appraiser, the Residential Property Manager, the Deputy Chief Appraiser and the Chief Appraiser, are no longer within Fulton County and there is no documentation suggesting the cause of these changes,” said the spokesperson…
Some longtime observers of Fulton County’s government speculated that the value drop may have been the result of some deliberate readjustment of the home’s value—or simply an error on the part of the assessor’s office. Either way, the move cost the county a significant amount of money.
Isn’t that convenient.