I really enjoy working with clients from the West Coast or Northeast because there is almost a feeling that they have won the lottery when they see what their budget buys them in Atlanta and Metro Atlanta.
As a native NYer, I can tell you property taxes are just lower here. Overall Atlanta is a very affordable metropolitan area compared to most others nationwide. Perhaps because the city is so spread out with different municipalities that it lessens the burden. But Why else? The schools are not as good as in the north. In some areas there are also enough commercial properties (hotels, offices, etc) whose property taxes help meet the city municipality's budget so lower overall taxes. Lastly, so many areas are new - so new construction means lots of city revenue with permits and utility connection fees. The newer sewer/water systems mean less expense for maintanence vs replacement like you may see in older areas like up north And yes, there are city and county taxes in most areas. Nothing hidden, except some areas taxes include garbage collection and other areas you contract with a company to pick up your trash, and some areas the county/city picks it up for a fee as part of your utility bill
You have gotten some great info here and having moved here from the west coast, I was very surprised by housing costs and taxes as well. What areas are of interest to you? Are you reloacting here?
Property taxes will vary from county to county in Metro Atlanta. I have worked with numerous people over the years relocating to Atlanta and many have been surprised by the low taxes here. It would be a pleasure to answer any other questions you have. If you are relocating to Atlanta. I would love to show you our wonderful city!