Final chance for Cobb residents to sound off on budget - CBS46 News

Final chance for Cobb residents to sound off on budget

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Source: WGCL Source: WGCL

Cobb County residents will have one last chance to speak their minds as county commissioners decide whether to raise property taxes to fill a huge gap in this year's budget.

Leaders say as the county's population continues to increase, they have tough choices to make. During the recession, county leaders cut back considerably on spending but now they're forced to increase it and they're looking for input from the public.

Numerous town hall meetings have been held, partly to try to explain to citizens that compared to cities and counties of similar size, they're actually paying far less per person for government services.

County commissioners say they were warned years ago that the current millage rate would not be able to keep up with the increased needs caused by a rising population. Now, county commission chairman Mike Boyce says they can't put it off any longer.

There's a $30 million hole in the budget and the rainy day fund has run dry so Boyce says commissioners have two choices, raise taxes or cut services.

"Let's not be cute about this. I could close every library, every senior center, probably half the parks, and I still wouldn't get to $30 million," Boyce told CBS46 News. 

According to the commissioner's office, the tentative increase will result in a millage rate of 8.460 mills, an increase of 2.152 mills. Without this tentative tax increase, the millage rate will be no more than 6.308 mills.

The proposed tax increase for a home with a fair market value of $275,000.00 is approximately $215.20 and the proposed tax increase for non-homestead property with a fair market value of $375,000.00 is approximately $322.80.

The last public meeting is scheduled for Wednesday night at 7 p.m. on the second floor of the board of commissioner's building, located at 100 Cherokee Street in Marietta.

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