Bond would bring mill rate hike
by Rachel Miller
July 17, 2013 12:05 AM | 2273 views | 6 6 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — Councilman Philip Goldstein wants voters to know that even if the Marietta Board of Education is lowering taxes as planned, there will still be an overall tax increase if the $68 million redevelopment bond is approved this fall.

Based on estimates that the redevelopment bond would require a rate of 2 mills for 20 years, the millage rate would increase .81 mills above this year’s amount, taking into account the school board’s drop of 1.19 mills, said Beth Sessoms, the city’s economic development director.

This increase is one of the reasons Goldstein said he voted against raising the bond amount from an initial $35 million to a proposed $68 million.

Robbie Huck of Marietta is heading a task force aligned with Lance Lamberton’s Cobb Taxpayers Association against the bond proposal.

Her group is trying to prevent the tax hike through voter education, she said.

Huck said the group’s philosophy is simple: “You have a greater quality of life when you keep more of the money you make.”

In a presentation to the City Council last week, Goldstein dismissed claims that the pay off of the school district’s auditorium bond would drop property taxes the same 2 mill amount the redevelopment bond would impose if approved.

Mayor Steve Tumlin said if the city school system had not been able to pay off the auditorium debt, he would not have proposed the redevelopment bond.

Still, Tumlin said neither he nor the council promised the tax rates would be a wash.

“I wouldn’t have proposed (the redevelopment bond) if the school board wasn’t going to pay down their debt,” the mayor said.

Tumlin said he used the comparison because “it would make (the development bond) easier to sell.”

Goldstein said the rate property owners must pay by the end of October should be the figure Marietta voters keep in mind when heading to the polls on Nov. 5.

Specifically, Goldstein said if the $68 million redevelopment bond passes, the tax rate for 2014 will be 1.52 mills higher than 2013 levels. That 1.52 equates to $61 dollars on a $100,000 home, $122 on a $200,000 home and $183 on a $300,000 home. These numbers are calculated without the school board’s planned tax reduction.

The school board plans to make a second reduction on its auditorium bond next year, dropping the millage rate another .712 mills by August 2014, school board Chairman Randy Weiner said.

This means that over two years, property taxes will decrease by 1.187 mills, right before the $68 million redevelopment bond would be applied to tax bills, resulting in a net gain of .81 mills.

No new taxes

Ed Hammock, chairman of the Marietta Development Authority and owner of Ed Hammock Realty in Marietta, said “nobody likes taxes.”

But Hammock said the redevelopment proposed by the city will bring in national companies with high paying jobs.

That influx would draw in new workers, who will buy homes, benefiting the real estate market and raising property values, Hammock said.

Hammock, who specializes in commercial real estate, said the city would also draw higher tax revenue from any development that attracts new residents or employers moving into areas now considered blighted.

“We are going to reap a lot more than we are paying to redevelop Franklin Road,” Hammock said.

Huck said she is against government intervention in the real estate market and thinks development and property values should be left to rise or fall based on the free market.

“Government is the best when government is doing the least,” Huck said.

Huck said she speaks from experience living in the southwest portion of the 120 Loop, where the city purchased and tore down rows of blighted rental units in 2005.

Development at the site stalled for eight years until a plan for the Manget neighborhood was approved last week by the City Council.

Huck said she is very concerned there have been no written objectives for Whitlock Avenue and Franklin Road presented to the public.

“I think it might be a little scattered,” Huck said.

She added that the seven council members and mayor have not given a defined goal that future officials would be required to follow.

“There is not one vision, there are many visions,” Huck said.

Comments-icon Post a Comment
July 18, 2013
The bond issue will pass, voters complain about taxes being to high, yet they almost always for raising their taxes.

It's a perfect match politicians are never tire of spending other peoples money. Both the Franklin Road and Whitlock Ave projects will benefit someone but probably not taxpayers.

Public school teachers are the little people in the trenches, they do the heavy lifting and are last in line when the compensation rolls out. If teaching is your calling live with it, or get a job in private education. The millage reduction will benefit the elected, teachers will take the hit while once again the elected never consider a pay cut for themselves.
July 22, 2013
Teachers are no different from the rest of the work force. We leave our jobs every day hoping we made the world a better place than yesterday. Unless you are CEO, etc., we in the private sector are also "the little people in the trenches, that do the heavy lifting and are last in line when the compensation rolls out." Blah-de-blah. Cry me a river about educators. They are no different than the rest of us. Oh, I forgot, yes, they are different. They get pensions still. And only work 6 months out of the entire year with all the holidays, vacations, etc.
No to more taxes
July 18, 2013
I am glad someone is leading an effort to defeat this bond issue. The city has no business getting involved in real estate. It just doesn't work.

Furthermore, I agree with Ms. Huck. If voters are truly informed about the realities of the situation, they will, most likely, vote against this proposal. Hope the paper gives this a lot of coverage.
At teachers expense
July 17, 2013
Yes, lower the taxes so teachers can continuously make less. Who cares about teachers anyway as long as you have an auditorium? Everybody wants something for free. If the citizens cared about education and our schools, they would be happy to pay. If citizens in Cobb cared about kids and the schools, we would repeal the senior tax. Fact check- people don't care about the kids and our schools. Instead, we will say teachers make too much and they don't do a good job so we can justify not wanting to pay taxes. Teachers are leaving to other counties now so when all you have left are truly bad teachers, you can thank yourselves.
July 17, 2013
Good. Let them keep leaving. When the last one is gone, we can start over with teachers that actually want to be there and are not in it to make six figures.
learn anything?
July 17, 2013
Did we learn anything from the last bunch of branch new apartments? They are "new" for about four years and then they are again crappy old apartments. Lantern Ridge and Post Whatever next to the old Krogers just up Roswell Rd from the East loop used to be the nicest most desirable brand new apartments in town. That lasted about 3 years for LR, maybe 1 year for Post (they were far too cheaply constructed). They have been slums for 30 years and counting.

New apartments = 3 years of nice young people, then 30 years of filth poverty and crime

Let's stop

Let's instead do townhomes and condos that affluet parents of college kids will BUY and then they rent to college kids, and whenever one starts to slide, we are going after an individual landlord rather than a megacorporation property owner with a bigger payroll in their legal department than all of the City of Marietta's entire budget!
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