Public can weigh in on planned property tax increases in Powder Springs, Acworth, Cobb County

Several Cobb County municipalities plan to keep their property tax rates flat this year, despite a boom in the housing market that has caused property values to surge. That could mean a rise in taxes for homeowners whose properties values have been reappraised.

Residents will be able to voice their opinions on the proposed taxes in a series of public hearings that begin Monday.

Elected officials in Powder Springs, Acworth and Cobb County have all proposed effective tax increases for the year. Those municipalities must hold three public hearings before setting their respective tax rates, according to Georgia law, which requires cities and counties to compute a “rollback rate” each year when the values of taxable property are reassessed.

The rollback rate is essentially the rate that would keep residents’ property taxes the same even if the values of their homes rise.

Georgia law deems any tax rate above the rollback rate to be a tax increase.

Powder Springs will be the first city in Cobb County to begin its state-mandated hearings this year. The city hosts its first two public hearings at noon and 6:30 p.m. Monday. The third hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m. July 19, when City Council is expected to adopt the tax rate. All three hearings will be held at the Powder Springs Municipal Court Building, 4483 Pineview Drive.

Powder Springs officials plan to keep the city’s tax rate at $9.50 per $1,000 of taxable value for the fourth consecutive year. That’s a 6.1% increase over the rollback rate of $8.95 per $1,000 of taxable value. That will cost the owner of a home value of $200,000 with the homestead exemption about $42.74 more in property taxes. Tax bills for a non-homesteaded property valued at $250,000 will be extra $54.80, city officials estimate.

Cobb County commissioners tentatively adopted a 5.4% tax increase as part of its budget process. County leaders opted for a tax rate of $8.46 per $1,000 while carving out the spending plan for this fiscal year. That’s the same rate the county has maintained for the past three years. The county rollback rate is $8.03 per $1,000.

County officials say it would amount to a $51.60 property tax increase for homeowners whose residences have a market value of $325,000; and a $77.40 increase for those whose non-homesteaded properties are valued at $450,000.

Cobb County commissioners will host public hearings at 9 a.m. Tuesday, 6:30 p.m. July 20 and 7 p.m. July 27 at the county government building in Marietta, 100 Cherokee St.

Meanwhile in Acworth, the proposed tax rate of $8.95 per $1,000 remains the same. City officials say homeowners with a homestead exemption should not see an increase in their property taxes.

Acworth will host its public hearings at City Hall, 4415 Center St. The first will be at 7 p.m. Thursday. Two more will follow July 26, one at 9 a.m. and the last at 6:45 p.m. City aldermen are expected to adopt the tax rate during a special meeting that night.