Cobb reduces taxes, gives employees 3 percent raises - CBS46 News

Cobb reduces taxes, gives employees 3 percent raises

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After years of a doom-and-gloom economy, one metro Atlanta county actually has a surplus - a nearly $20 million surplus.

Tuesday night the Cobb County Commission considered a property tax cut for citizens and either raises or bonuses for thousands of county employees.

The commission considered either a lump sum bonus or a 3 percent across the board pay increase for more than 4,000 county employees, but the uneasy economy worried some commissioners.

"My primary concern is that these are one time monies generated from the healthcare reserve fund," said Commissioner Jo Ann Birrell. "We're unsure if the monies will be there next year to sustain an across the board pay increase now."

"I believe we can make it work now I won't be here next year," said Commissioner Woody Thompson to Commission Chairman Tim Lee. "You made a commitment on two things and I'm going to be watching."

The commission voted 4-1, Commissioner Bob Ott being the dissent, in favor of an across the board pay increase for thousands of county employees over a lump sum bonus.

Some residents worry if the economy is too slow to improve, the county will be in a lurch for funds - but Lee made a promise to the taxpayers.

"For some reason if it doesn't occur we will at the end of this year make the necessary cuts for next year's budget through either services or personnel to make sure we absorb that incremental cost without having to increase revenues anywhere else," said Lee.

County employees can expect the raises to take effect in their Dec. 28 paycheck.   

The commission also passed a property tax decrease of .2 mills, which will save approximately $14 on a $200,000 valued home.

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