Cobb County Board of Commissioners Lower Millage Rate and Establishes Two Enterprise Zones

The Council for Quality Growth congratulates the Cobb County Board of Commissioners on their 4-1 decision to lower the property tax in Cobb County 0.2 mills at Tuesday’s Board of Commissioners meeting.
While a small victory, Chairman Tim Lee addressed some concerns about decreasing county revenue by explaining that when taxes where raised during the great recession, Cobb County built a sustainable budget and can  now afford lower millage rates.
In addition to lower property rates, Cobb County now has two new Enterprise Zones: Six Flags Drive and Veterans Memorial Parkway in South Cobb and Canton Road.
Enterprise zones are areas suffering from “disinvestment, underdevelopment, and economic decline” and seek to attract businesses to locate there. By relocating to a designated Enterprise Zone, business owners enjoy several incentives including tax exemptions, and abatements of various fees.
Some of the benefits of establishing and Enterprise Zone for Council Members who choose to develop or employ in the newly minted areas include:
  • A 10 year graduated tax abatement for qualified businesses;
  • Exemptions or reductions for occupational taxes, license fees, other local fees and taxes; 
  • In order to quality a business must create at least 5 new jobs, or with residential development or rehabilitation, improvements to the property must be made with a 5:1 Ratio.

The Department of Community Affairs for Georgia requires that an area meet at least three of five criteria to be designated as an Enterprise Zone. Those criteria are as follows:

  • Pervasive poverty established using the most current United States decennial census prepared by the U. S. Bureau of Census .
  • Unemployment Rate (average for preceding yr.) at least 10% higher than State or significant job dislocation.
  • Underdevelopment evidenced by lack of building permits, licenses, land disturbance permits, etc. lower than development activity within local body’s jurisdiction.
  • General distress and adverse conditions (population decline, health and safety issues etc.).
  • General Blight evidenced by the inclusion of any portion of the nominated area in an urban redevelopment area.
As Commissioner Birrell told the MDJ:
“This is another tool or resource we can use to attract other businesses or maybe small businesses that don’t have the funding, or the pockets if you will, that don’t have the resources of the big box stores.” 

We offer our commendations to the Cobb County Board of Commissioners and Chairman Tim Lee, as well as Community Development Director Rob Hosak and Planning Division Manager Dana Johnson for their work and dedication on these issues. These actions will surely prove beneficial to the county as well as its residents.