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Cobb approves blight tax targeting rentals, businesses

Cobb County has adopted a new blight tax targeting problematic rental properties and businesses. 

The new tax passed 4-1 Tuesday, with East Cobb Commissioner Bob Ott opposing.

“I just think this severely impacts some disadvantaged business owners,” Ott said. “I understand what we’re trying to do here but I just don’t think this is the right way to go.”

Commissioner Lisa Cupid of South Cobb disagreed. She expressed concern about run-down shopping centers in her district specifically. 

“It really impacts the character of that community,” she said.

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To be deemed blighted, properties must meet at least two of the following criteria:  

  • Uninhabitable, unsafe or abandoned 
  • Insufficient ventilation, light, air or sanitation 
  • Imminent harm to life or other property 
  • Environmental contamination site 
  • Repeated illegal activity on property 
  • Maintenance below state or county codes 
  • Conducive to ill health, disease 

Problematic properties will be subjected to a multi-step inspection process. Primary residences are exempt.

Following a court order, taxes on the property will increase seven-fold.

 

If it is then brought into compliance, it will be eligible for a .2 mill reduction in taxes for a maximum of two years.

“The intention is to encourage property owners to maintain their property,” said Community Development Director Dana Johnson.

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In other Cobb news:

There is still bitterness over the multi-million dollar Braves Stadium, which cost taxpayers nearly $400 million dollars.

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