Cumberland CID won’t see tax rate change
June 27, 2014 04:00 AM | 3476 views | 1 1 comments | 34 34 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tad Leithead
Tad Leithead
CUMBERLAND — The Cumberland Community Improvement District won’t make any changes to the rate at which it taxes its commercial property owners to pay the $10 million it promised toward the new Braves stadium.

But due to a new tax district recently created by the Cobb Board of Commissioners that roughly follows the CID’s boundaries, property owners in the district will see a tax increase to meet the debt payments on the money the county is borrowing to pay for the $672 million stadium, said Tad Leithead, CID board chairman.

These taxes will be due in October, said Lynn Rainey, the attorney for the CID board.

Leithead said the two property tax rates will be levied on mostly the same population, but they are two separate items because they are set by different boards.

One significant difference is while the CID doesn’t tax apartment complex owners, the new tax district overlaying it does.

“The special taxing district, which is an initiative of the county commission, will collect taxes at approximately 3 mills for 30 years, and that goes to fund the bond (taken out by the county),” Leithead said.

Three mills under the new tax district created by commissioners brings in $5.1 million, according to county Chairman Tim Lee.

In other news — and in connection with the media coverage the Braves project has garnered — the CID made a plan at its Thursday meeting to create a marketing strategy to communicate with the public.

The plan for a marketing team is being organized by the CID’s executive director, Malaika Rivers.

Details will be presented at the board’s July 24 meeting. It is a combined effort of the county, the CID and the Cobb Chamber of Commerce. Its purpose is to keep the group’s statements about the Braves project unified.

“It’s so that we’re all reading from the same sheet of music,” Leithead said.

Lee said he supported the idea of a marketing team to spread news about the Braves project because he wanted everyone involved to have the same facts.

“I’d go a step further, and if you’re going to collect (the information) on behalf of the owner, you should distribute it to your taxpayers,” Lee said.

At its meeting Thursday, CID board members recommended taxing its property owners at the continued rate of 5 mills, which is the maximum amount it is allowed to add to the county’s rate.

The 5.5-square-mile CID is made up of a group of commercial property owners who agree to tax themselves at a higher rate. The revenue from this increased rate, which is $5.5 million per year for the Cumberland CID, is used to secure larger state and federal sums used for infrastructure improvements in the district, Leithead said.

The CID’s tax rate has been 5 mills since its inception 26 years ago, Leithead said.

During the board meeting, Lee commended the CID directors for playing a part in making Cobb County a fitting place to welcome the Braves.

“If not for you guys, this corridor wouldn’t be here, and the investment we’re going to see in this community in the next few years wouldn’t be here without you,” Lee said. “Certainly, most of you that are on this board have come to see that fruit from the Braves organization, so I encourage you to be steadfast with the progress, which is what you’re doing.”

The CID did not bring the Braves to Cobb County, Leithead said, but he was flattered by Lee’s compliments.

“Over the last 26 years, we’ve been making transportation improvements in this district that made it a very attractive area to the Braves,” he said. “I think, to a great extent, (Lee) is correct.”

Leithead called the CID’s roadwork projects “a 26-year success story,” and said he would work with the other commissioners to support the CID’s future projects.

“I will work my hardest to make sure that projects of interest to the CID are looked at very hard and advanced,” Lee said.

Rainey said the process of renewing the CID’s tax rate happens each year after the county’s tax assessor determines the worth of the CID’s properties.

“The tax assessor says, this is what all of your properties — this is what we assess their value to be,” Rainey said.

The group agreed to advertise its suggestion to require property owners to pay 5 extra mills within two weeks of its next meeting on July 24, where it will vote on the continuation of the rate.

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JR in Mableton
June 27, 2014
The CID is a great model for investing in infrastructure. It's a shame that the remarkable accomplishments of this organization are mostly ignored by Cobb County citizens.
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