Cobb commissioners Tuesday voted to slightly lower the county’s millage rate, which could result in a small savings for homeowners on their 2013 tax bills
Commissioners voted 4-1 to approve a 0.2-mill decrease, which works out to a savings of about $14 on a $200,000 home or $38 on a $500,000 home. Commissioner Lisa Cupid, who represents South Cobb, opposed.
The move is part of Chairman Tim Lee’s promise to return taxes to the rates of 2010, the year before the county approved a controversial 15.7 percent increase to fill a budget gap. It’s the first decrease since 2011.
“It’s not reversing 100 percent what had to do to keep things moving, but it is a step in the right direction,” said Lee.
The decrease from 7.72 to 7.52 mills would be reflected on property tax bills mailed out Aug. 15 and due Oct. 15. Lee’s plan is to reduce the general fund millage rate each year for the next five years until it’s returned to the 2010 rate of 6.82 mills.
Commissioner Cupid voted against the decrease, saying she had some long-range concerns about what impact it would have on the county. The decrease means Cobb’s revenue will drop about $4.9 million, but the average homeowner would save about $10, she said.
“What about seeing our right-of-ways mowed, or to increase hours of facilities like our libraries, or to see more sidewalks, or an increased number public safety officers,” she said. “Is that worth $10?”
Tax rates in some other metro counties are also expected to fluctuate this year. In Gwinnett County, residents who live in unincorporated sections could see a tax hike of about $39 on a $160,000 home. Fulton County is proposing a net tax rate increase that could add about $75 a year to a $200,000 house, despite a state law capping the county’s property taxes.
In unincorporated DeKalb County, property tax rates are expected to remain steady.
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