Cobb will be giving the company a break on property taxes paid to the county government and the school system, but the county expects to profit in the future. Lockheed Martin’s expansions are expected to bring an estimated net benefit of about $50 million each to Cobb County and the Cobb County School System, according to the fiscal impact study conducted by the Center for Economic Development Research at Georgia Tech.
When the development authority provides tax breaks, companies are required to make payments in lieu of taxes to prevent the county from losing the revenue it currently receives. Abatements usually last 10 years, giving the company relief during construction while taxes increase gradually.
Under the agreement, the tax breaks would be awarded project by project through 2048, for 10-year periods if Lockheed Martin’s expansion proceeds as planned. For instance, a project approved in 2023 would get tax breaks through 2033.
The development authority considered adjusting its fee schedule by capping fees on projects over $1 billion, which Lockheed Martin requested, Nelson Geter said at the meeting. The members approved the deal with the company but suspended the fee schedule until they decide whether to offer additional breaks on fees, which typically go toward the development authority’s expenses. The authority will decide on a fee structure before the deal closes this fall.