On June 30, 2023 the Cobb County Board of Commissioners announced its intention to increase the property taxes it will levy this year, over the rollback millage rate, by 18.02 percent in the County Maintenance & Operations (General) Fund.
Each year, the Board of Tax Assessors is required by Georgia law to review the assessed value for property tax purposes of taxable property in the county. When the trend of prices on properties that have recently sold in the county indicate there has been an increase or decrease in the fair market value of any specific property, the board of tax assessors is required by law to re-determine the value of such property and adjust the assessment. This is called a reassessment.
When the total digest of taxable property is prepared, Georgia law requires that a “rollback” millage rate must be computed according to specific instructions issued by the Georgia Department of Revenue. This hypothetical “rollback” millage rate would have produced the same total tax revenue on the current year’s digest that last year’s millage rate would have produced had no reassessments occurred.
The continued recovery of the Cobb real estate market is the primary reason for this modest growth in property values and this corresponding increase in the county’s property tax digest. The 2023 proposed millage is higher than the recently computed "rollback" millage rate. Therefore, before the Cobb County Board of Commissioners may set the final 2023 millage rates, Georgia law requires that three public hearings be held to allow the public an opportunity to express their opinions on the increase.
The Cobb County Board of Commissioners (BOC) is proposing the property tax millage rate of the General Fund be set at 8.46; the Fire millage rate at 2.99; the Debt Service (Bond Fund) millage Service District millage rate at 3.50. State law requires the County to advertise a “Tax Increase” in the press and on the County’s website.
All citizens are invited to the public hearings on this tax increase to be held at the Board of Commissioners meeting room located at 100 Cherokee Street, Marietta, Georgia on Tuesday, July 18, 2023, at 6:30 PM and again on Tuesday, July 25, 2023, at 7:00 PM.
The Cobb County Commissioners announced a property tax increase of 18.02% even though they are not increasing the millage rate of 8.46, how? The culprit is higher property values!
If your home was reassessed in 2022 and your assessment notice shows that you are receiving the Homestead Exemption, you can expect the tax on the County General fund portion on your property tax bill to remain the same as last year.
If your home was revalued in May of 2023, your County General tax will increase solely based on the increase in property value due to recent sales in your area. BUT, as a homeowner living in your primary residence in Cobb County, that increase in the County General line item will be offset by an increase in your homestead exemption. This is why they say the county's portion of the Homestead Exemption is a 'floating' exemption as it increases and decreases with the value of your home. The only time your 'County General' fund property tax on your primary residence increases is when the millage rate increases. Again, changes in valuation are offset by the Homestead Exemption.
So, what's causing your property tax increase if its not the county millage rate?
That would be the School General fund. The Homestead Exemption for the School General portion of your property tax bill is a fixed exemption. That Homestead Exemption is set at $10,000 of the assessed value. Which is why your School General tax increases each time your property is revalued. So, if the value of your property increased by $100,000 this year, then your assessed value increased by $40,000. At the proposed millage rate of 18.7 (.0187) the tax increase will be $748.
The other component that increases each year to track inflation is the County Fire fund. In unincorporated Cobb County, a fire service district tax of $2.99 per $1,000 of assessed value is applied for tax year 2023. The Homestead Exemption does not apply to this line item on your county tax bill. The millage rate for this fund is usually increased by an incremental amount each year. However, when combined with a large increase in assessed value, this can become a notable expense. For 2023 the millage rate is proposed to be 2.99 mills, up from 2.86 in 2022. In the example above, your assessed value increased by $40,000 and the proposed millage rate increases to 2.99 (.00299) the tax increase for the County Fire fund will be $119.60.
All of this means that if the value of your primary residence increased by $100,000, then you will see an increase in the net tax due of $867.60. This is due to the School General fund which is set by the School Board Commissioners and the County Fire fund which is set by the county commissioners to provide Fire Department services.
When you buy your home in Cobb County as your primary residence you may apply for the Homestead Exemption no later than April 1st for the current tax year. Once the homestead exemption is applied, your 'County General' line item on your property tax bill is locked in and future increases in value will increase your homestead exemption. This line item will only increase if the millage rate increases.
Two items on your property tax bill that seem to increase each year are the School tax and the Fire fund. For 2023, the CCSD Board is set to vote on 7/20/2023 to approve a budget based on a reduced millage rate. The school millage rate on your property tax bill has been 18.9 mills for over 15 years. This year they are voting to reduce it by .2 mills to create the new millage rate of 18.7 mills.
While this is technically a lower tax rate, due to the increases in property values, homeowners can expect to pay more in property tax this year. For example, a primary residence worth $500,000 will see an increase of
Cobb County's Assessor revalues one-third of the county each year. In 2022, there was a significant increase in the reassessment based on the high sales prices achieved in the 12 months prior. In 2023, the revaluation continues to increase property values as sales prices have kept pace. Statements are mailed in May to each property owner. Each homeowner may appeal their valuation within 45 days of the receipt of your assessment notice. For more information click here to visit the assessor's website.