Cobb tax digest likely to fall by about 4 percent
by Kim Isaza
newseditor@mdjonline.com
April 05, 2012 12:43 AM | 5704 views | 35 35 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — Officials are expecting Cobb’s 2012 tax digest to decline about 4 percent, but County Chairman Tim Lee vowed that such a decline would not result in another property-tax increase this year.

Meanwhile, Chief Appraiser Phil Hogsed is preparing to send assessment notices in coming weeks for each of the nearly 250,000 parcels in the county. The vast majority of those, about 230,000, are residential properties.

The tax digest is the value of all property in Cobb County, and city and county leaders use it to determine how much tax revenue to expect and to set their budgets.

County Chairman Tim Lee said the county had expected another year of reduced values.

“We planned for it last year in our budgeting, and as a result it won’t have any impact on our operations,” Lee said. “There absolutely will not be a tax increase this summer.”

Lee also insisted there would be no furloughs or layoffs of county employees in the 2013 budget year.

Cobb County’s budget year begins Oct. 1, but county taxes are not collected until after the budget year has ended.

Tax assessors are now required to send assessment notices to all property owners by July 1. Hogsed said Cobb will be mailing notices for commercial properties by April 20, and residential notices around May 18.

Hogsed said he won’t know for about another month how many of those residential properties will see their values lowered. In the last two years, assessors have lowered the values on most — but not all — homes in Cobb.

“Some properties have not been lowered because they have continued to be undervalued as determined by comparable sales,” Hogsed said.

A state-mandated moratorium on increased valuations ended last year, and so a small percentage of Cobb’s homeowners will see higher assessments this year, he said.

Assessment notices will include an estimate of the taxes that will be due in the fall, but Hogsed stressed that it’s only an estimate, not a bill.

His office is making every effort to include city homestead exemptions in the tax estimate, Hogsed said, but the notices may not include exemptions filed close to the April 1 deadline.

“The key point here is that it is only an estimate,” he said.

Cobb’s gross tax digest has declined every year since 2008, when it was $33.82 billion. The gross digest encompasses all property, including vehicles, motor homes and utilities.

The gross digest first fell only 0.2 percent in 2009, to $33.75 billion.

The biggest drop came in 2010, when the gross digest fell almost 7 percent, to $31.42 billion.

Last year, the gross digest dropped 5 percent, to $29.71 billion.

In July, county commissioners narrowly approved a 16 percent hike in property taxes.
Comments
(35)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
Be Careful
|
April 07, 2012
Expect another tax increase. Tim Lee has already demonstrated that he cannot manage the county by cutting expenses in relation to a reduction in revenue...just like EVERY private sector company must do.

Last year when he said he couldn't reduce county spending by 10% I knew he was an idiot. So you can't run the county with 90% of what you have now? He would fail in the real business world, which is why he ran for elected office.
Kennesaw Voter
|
April 06, 2012
If tax revenues drop....cut spending and start by reducing the number of county employees. Cobb has WAY to MANY county employees.

BTW, to "take a hile" the word "county" is not capitalized but i see you did capitalize it so that is probably projecting your opinion that county employees are the uncrowned KINGS of the county...lol...that would match Tim Lee's and Helen Gorham's attitudes.

Please stop abusing taxpayers and our seniors by over taxing them!
Marietta Voter
|
April 09, 2012
Dear Kennesaw Voter,

Do some research please. Cobb county has one of the lowest crime rates in metro Atlanta. Cobb county has one of the best fire departments in metro Atlanta. So you suggest we fire police officers and firefighters in order to lower your taxes? Did you know that you have the LOWEST tax rate of ANY metro Atlanta county? THE LOWEST. Do you know why you pay "high" taxes? Because your property values are higher than most of metro Atlanta's. Do you know how you keep high property values? YOU HAVE A GOOD FIRE AND POLICE DEPARTMENT. Wow that was hard huh?

But go ahead. Keep screaming your tea party rhetoric all you want. But when Cobb turns in to the next Dekalb or Atlanta, don't come crying to your county employees. It wont be their fault.

Tex G
|
April 06, 2012
Kennesaw voter sounds like a darn smart American to me. This person tells it like it is and does it well. Federal, County, State, Local, and any other "government" employee produces nothing. They make not one dime of profit for anyone. They leach off the taxpayer because they do not want to compete in the open market. Over the years unions have rewarded them for election rigging and union thuggery and now we have the lowest performers being paid like the best performers. Thats great for them. The problem comes in when their bosses, we the taxpayer and private business owner says they need to be fired. They do need to be fired. They are all just subpar candidates who loaf through life on our dime.
Marietta Voter
|
April 09, 2012
Hey Tex,

Have fun putting out fires and stopping crime on your own. Us firefighters and police officers sure are lazy and stupid until you need us.

And tex you might want to know GA is a right to work state. Unions have no say whatsoever in how this county is run.

And Lazy? Are you kidding me? I work 3 jobs and average 90 hours a week. As do most other firefighters and police officers. Oh and I pay Cobb county taxes without whinning. Because I actually know you get what you pay for.
Kennesaw Voter
|
April 06, 2012
It seems like when someone gets a county job they think they are owed by the cobb county taxpayers for the rest of their life...hey folks, it is your retirement...so you pay for it...stop trying to milk it out of the hard working property taxpayers.
Tex G
|
April 06, 2012
Here Here! Well said Voter!!
Marietta Voter
|
April 09, 2012
I put away 25% of a small paycheck for my retirement when its all said and done. Is that enough? Because by 2018 I'll be putting away about 33% of my wages before taxes. Is that enough? Or should I just work for free? You angry tea party people really need to do some research before you start complaining. Its kind of embarrassing.
Kennesaw Voter
|
April 09, 2012
Marietta Voter - it is up to you to put away whatever you wish for your retirement...just stop hitting the taxpayers up for more and more every year...BTW, if you can put away 25 percent (i really doubt that is a true figure...more like 4 percent of yours and 21 percentfrom us taxpayers but i degress) As i was saying, if u can put away 25 percent of ur pay every year...u must be extremely well paid and of course it is us taxpayers who are being ripped for that fine pay u get
Kennesaw Voter
|
April 06, 2012
Cobb employees whine about not being paid "fairly" for their work...they all think that the private sector pays so much more...got news for you folks...private sector does not throw money around...private business must make a profit and they do otherwise they go out of business. If a county employee could make more in the private sector they would be GONE from the county and working in the private sector...there is really just one or two reasons why someone would not leave if they could make more in a private sector job...

1. they can't get the private sector job (we all know that is true).

2. they would have to actually work and produce or be fired (uh oh...guess we now know why they stay employed with the county, sucking down all those tax dollars).

County employees are always whinning about wanting the county to take more from property owners, take more from seniors, take more from everyone possible so they can continue to drain our tax dollars...and the school system does the same thing.

Us taxpayers get it from all sides, the school system, the city government, county government, state government, and federal government.

Talk about what is not fair.
Kennesaw Resident
|
April 06, 2012
Kennesaw Voter, I am all for making county employees pay more into their benefits. Not a problem for me.

take a hile
|
April 06, 2012
Kennesaw Voter: I think you are the type of busy body citizen who needs to just shut up but you have WAY too much time on your hands. So all you can do is complain about County employees. It's easy to tell that you are mad about the way your terrible life has turned out and you want to make everyone else feel like you do. Now come on back and tell me that I wrong and spew your hate speech about the County employees. Maybe a County employee just needs to tell you to SHOVE IT!! So here I go : Kennesaw Voter SHOVE IT!!!!
Tex G
|
April 06, 2012
This site wont post my comments. The Kennesaw Mayor and the rest of the loafers in Summer Winds can pay the bills. They are all rich and run companies out of the county and the town.
TeX G
|
April 05, 2012
Well this is a shame. How is the Mayor and all those blue bloods over in Summer winds going to pay to fix our leaky sewer if they run all the businesses out of town because Bill and bunch of his liberal buddies dont approve? Hey a Pawn Shop pays taxes Bill. Maybe we can put a homeless shelter by the pawn shop.
Ms Behaving
|
April 05, 2012
Tim Lee is looking for a job. Any suggestions?
SG68
|
April 05, 2012
Why would anyone believe what Tim Lee says?

His track record speaks for itself.
Native Cobb
|
April 05, 2012
As a senior who has raised our kids and paid high property taxes for over 40 years. We need a break, we are on a fixed income, why should we be be taxed untill we die to educate the illegals and section 8 rental folks with several kids. there needs to be a better way to finance education. Not on the backs of property owners, maybe a state sales tax so all will pay.
anonymous
|
April 09, 2012
dont seniors stop paying school tax at 65? thats majority of the tax. And people with no kids that will never have kids pay school tax. Its the way of life.
Kennesaw Voter
|
April 05, 2012
@bad news and kennesaw resident...both of you show how idiotic Cobb folks can be when they are collecting from public funds and claim they are "working". I say reduce the retirement of every county employee and make them pay more for medical and pay more into their own retirement.
Kennesaw Resident
|
April 05, 2012
Kennesaw Voter, what makes you think I am "collecting" from public funds? You are wrong about that! Now who's idiotic?
anonymous
|
April 05, 2012
you are clueless as to what employees already pay towards medical and retirement. We have a mandatory amount withheld every paycheck. everyone here is an "expert" yet knows nothing about how things actually run. I'll gladly pay more if i get paid private sector money. That is exactly why my spouse left. Best move we could have made.
Kennesaw Voter
|
April 05, 2012
Leave the seniors alone...every time the county leaders whine about not having enough tax money, you county employees jump on here and yell for seniors to pay, pay and pay some more....I got news for you greedy county employees...SENIORS paid more than most of you will ever pay...SENIORS should be totally EXEMPT from property taxes as they have paid too much over the years...and SENIORS help drive the economy...if you don't watch out they will all move to Florida and then all of you greedy county employeew will cry about the lousy local economy....as far as Cobb schools...they are poorly run and have been eating up the tax money because you dummies what them to build a freaking school on every corner...guess what, that costs a ton of money to build and operate....the schools should be larger so you can cut the administrative costs and cut the operation costs...WISE UP people!!
Boot Tim Lee
|
April 05, 2012
Tim raised your taxes by 16%, so a 4% decline isn't going to result in another tax increase? Really? He's shoving MARTA right up our nose with a $10 Billion tax increase debacle. Please folks, BOOT TIM LEE OUT on election day and VOTE NO on the MARTA-TSPLOST
anonymous
|
April 05, 2012
my mortgage went down a dollar AFTER the tax increase
Bad news
|
April 05, 2012
This just continues to hurt the school system and government services. It is too bad that people complained and fought for a reduction in their property taxes. These same people complained that libraries are closing, schools are cutting days off the school year and their children's class sizes are increasing, and the cuts run deep. Everyone just needed to pay their property tax bills and we wouldn't be having these issues. The senior exemption is cutting around 64 million dollars from the schools as well. We will never dig out of this hole! Our taxes were never lowered and we just pay them because having good schools is a priority and we are not wealthy.
Kennesaw Resident
|
April 05, 2012
I agree that the senior tax exemption needs to go. Everyone needs to pay their share of the county's bill. We are giving our children and our future short-shrift in order to give our seniors a break.
Just Wait
|
April 05, 2012
I was one of those who sought a reduction in my property tax. During a recent refi, my home was valued at 2/3's of the county's assessment. Homes in my subdivision, foreclosures, were on the market for 1/3 less than the value of my home. All I want is what is fair, nothing special and no hand outs. I also make up for some of the "senior exemption" as I pay school taxes and have no children.
WestCobber
|
April 05, 2012
Can't wait for some of you people to become seniors and finally realize that ALL of us are not the wealthy greedy old misers that you think we are. If I didn't have the tax exemption, it would be a toss up as to whether to pay the property tax or go without food two days a week to make up the difference. Seniors do not really have a big choice - you younger people can go and get a part time job - no one wants to hire someone over 70. We are reliant primarily on our SS benefits (which I am sure some of you would like to see cut also) and the COLA after 3 years of no increases just received, after upping the premium on Medicare was a pittance that did not even cover the increase in the cost of food, secondary health insurance coverage, which you have to have when on medicare, or utilities. So seniors are going in the hole each and every day, but let's just pile on the seniors - and demand they pay their "fair" share, when most of them were doing just that when you people were still in diapers.
Indian Joe
|
April 05, 2012
Instead of taking your anger out at the seniors, why don't yuo get angry at the illegals who are draining our school system, the health community (primarily ERs), the food stamps, and infrastructure by having 20 people in a single family residence. Guess the poor old seniors are just a convenient target. Just wait until they tell you you have to pay "per child" - then I can hear the screaming. I am so sick of this "fair" share nonsense that I could scream. Just another form of class warfare.
Kennesaw Resident
|
April 05, 2012
Seniors, quit whining and educate yourselves about the wealth gap between the young and the old in this country. You think that you have it rough, well so do they!

BTW, West Cobber, be glad you got a COLA increase. My pay has actually been cut since the last four years - not increased. I am not alone in this.

TIC
|
April 05, 2012
I would agree with Indian Joe.

Address the illegal situation first and if that does not do the trick then look at other alternatives.

Let's show some respect for our legal citizens particularly the ones that have been contributing to our county and our school system for many, many years.

TIC
|
April 05, 2012
@Kennesaw Resident

Let me guess.

I bet you are one of those brilliant younger voters who cast your ballot for Obama.

See what happens!

If I am right you have only yourself to blame for the "wealth" gap.
Kennesaw Resident
|
April 09, 2012
@TLC, I did not vote for Obama. Far from it. I am opposed to socialism and communism in all forms, including Social Security and Medicare which are about as socialistic as you can get. Now who's the liberal Democrat? You maybe?
Kennesaw Resident
|
April 09, 2012
@Indian Joe, it seems to me that the seniors need all the illegals they can get here working and paying taxes to support Medicare. After all it is 75% funded by general tax revenues. If you are for Medicare, ti makes no sense at all to oppose immigration.

BTW, before everyone jumps on the bandwagon and assumes that I am for illegal immigration. I am not! I am for legal immigration and opposed to Medicare.
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, and spam will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides