As a result of a nearly $18 million dollar budget surplus, Cobb County Commissioners will vote on a plan Tuesday which could reduce the county’s property tax rate and make a number of other improvements.
Cobb County Commission Chairman Tim Lee says increased revenues from real estate activity, a lower than expected decline in property values and the conservative management of funds contributed to the surplus. He says a plan to allocate the additional money includes paying off debt, rolling back the county’s millage rate by .2 mills and technology upgrades to the county’s court system.
“It’s a well-rounded, balanced package as relates to who benefits from it. I think it’s a win-win for everybody.”
Commissioners will also decide how to spend another $4 .5 million dollars in reserves from the county’s medical and dental account. After five years without a raise, Chairman Lee says county employees deserve a three percent pay increase.
“I think it will increase morale, it will give them a sense of having a commitment made to them by leadership that we believe in them. “
But Commissioner Bob Ott says employees should receive a one-time bonus.
“We’re still talking the same amount of money, but mine I think is a little more cautious in saying let’s just kind do it as a one-time bonus and coming back in a year and see if it’s sustainable.
The surplus is a sharp contrast from early last year when the commission had to make budget cuts, raise the property tax rate and institute furlough days to balance a $33 million dollar budget shortfall.