Text from the video…
Here are four things you may not know about your property tax bill:
- For those younger than 62 years old, on average more than 70% of your bill goes to the Cobb County School District. Cobb County’s general fund is a distant second, then a sliver of the payment goes to the Parks Bond, followed by the Cobb County Fire Fund. In fact, the percentage of Cobb County Property Tax bills that goes to the county’s general fund in recent years has declined from about 18.9% of your bill in 2012 to about 12.7% percent in 2017. That’s primarily because of the floating homestead exemption.
- If you live in your primary home you likely have the homestead exemption listed on your tax bill. What many people don’t know is that Cobb has a floating homestead exemption, which means as the value of your home goes up, the floating exemption keeps the rate at which you pay into the county general fund frozen at the level at which you bought your home or at least applied for the exemption. Here’s what that looks like – we picked a random longtime Cobb County resident, we’ll call him “Mike” – Mike’s house has been reassessed to a value more than twice the amount it was fifteen years ago, but yet he pays the county general fund less money than he did in 2002. I looked at my own property tax bill I got my home’s assessment is up 11% over the past five years, but I contributed $40 less to the general fund than in 2013. Remember this affects only the county’s general fund. The tax assessor says 52% of all residential properties in Cobb have that floating exemption which last year saved taxpayers but cost the county’s general fund more than 23 million dollars. Our finance director calculates after taking into account a predicted increase, the county can expect a boost in the neighborhood of six million dollars in the general fund if the Tax Assessors prediction comes true.
- Next, the Braves Stadium. The general fund is one of five sources of funding for the project. The Cumberland Special Services District (Cumberland SSD) where businesses in the area tax themselves, the Special Services District (Cumberland SSD II) to the already formed three dollars a night hotel motel tax, and a rental car fee. The remaining money going towards stadium debt does come from the general fund and this year we expect to pay from that fund 6.4 million for debt service, 1.2 million for capital maintenance, and around 1 million more for police, traffic, and insurance. That accounts for about 2% of the general fund budget, and since the other buckets are filling up faster than predicted and the area around the stadium is attracting more development than expected, the county hopes on chipping away at the general fund obligation over the coming years.
- And finally, for reasons that have been discussed prior, Cobb County has managed to keep its millage rate well below our metro neighbors that have a similar population (Dekalb County – 20.81, Sandy Springs/Fulton County – 15.06, Gwinnett County – 13.51, Cobb County 9.85), all the while providing similar if not superior services. And if you live in unincorporated Cobb you pay far less than your neighbors who live in one of the county’s six cities. This is a comparison with school taxes included (Kennesaw – 38.25, Acworth – 36.35, Smyrna – 30.48, Unincorporated Cobb – 28.75). At the same time, the population of Cobb County continues to grow, putting more pressure on county departments to serve the growing population.
The video was posted to YouTube by Cobb County Government. They do not allow comments on their videos, but we at EastCobb.com do, so feel free to share, like, and post your comments below.