Tyler Perry is once again helping the city he has called home for decades. The filmmaker and actor is donating $750,000 to help low-income seniors in Atlanta now that property taxes have been increased.
Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens announced the generous donation this week, saying rising property taxes have displaced many residents – especially seniors, who are on fixed incomes, and may feel the effects of even moderate increases.
“Atlanta’s growth and prosperity should not come at the expense of our legacy residents—many of whom have been priced out of their homes in previous years,” Dickens said in a statement. “Tyler Perry has been engaged in our ongoing conversations around legacy resident retention, and he told me he wanted to do something to support these efforts. Thanks to his generosity, more Atlantans will be able to remain in the communities they built.”
His $750,000 donation will help pay off back property taxes for the more than 300 low-income seniors who currently owe taxes. The donation will also fund a pilot program that will pay off the difference between current taxes and the increase for more than 100 low-income seniors.
Invest Atlanta Partnership, the city’s economic development authority with a goal of increasing “opportunity and prosperity for the people of Atlanta,” will administer the funds.
Perry has embarked on countless philanthropic endeavors to help his community. In 2009, he created The Tyler Perry Foundation, which supports a wide range of initiatives around the world.
During the pandemic, he paid the grocery bill for elderly and at-risk shoppers at 73 grocery stores in Atlanta and his hometown of New Orleans. He has also used his platform to urge people to get protected agains COVID-19 with the vaccine.
Perry often covers funeral and other expenses for families who have suffered tragedies. In 2020, he paid for the funeral of Rayshard Brooks, a black man killed by Atlanta police officers in a Wendy’s parking. That same year, he donated $100,000 to the legal defense fund of Kenneth Walker, the boyfriend of Breonna Taylor. Taylor was fatally shot by police inside her home and Walker was sued by one of the Louisville Police Department officers who was wounded during the shooting.
At the 2021 Academy Awards, Perry was presented with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award for helping the food insecure during the pandemic. He used his speech to urge people to “refuse hate.”
And in 2019, he opened 330-acre movie studio complex in Atlanta, which employs thousands of people.