MARIETTA — For the fourth year in a row, the county’s tax digest has dropped, though the decline is less dramatic than in recent years.
The county’s gross digest for 2012 is $29 billion, down 2.3 percent from the 2011 digest of $29.71 billion.
County Chairman Tim Lee said that the decline this year was smaller than officials anticipated — and that the digest could be flat in 2013.
“It’s a good indicator that in Cobb, the decline is starting to slow,” Lee said. “Of course, we had some properties that went down in value this year and others that went up. But overall, as a county, our digest went down less than some of our neighboring counties.”
Chief Appraiser Phil Hogsed agreed that the 2012 numbers indicate improvement.
“To the extent the digest reflects some new construction, it’s good news,” Hogsed said.
The county’s digest dropped by more than 6 percent in 2010 and again in 2011. In 2008, the county’s digest totaled $33.81 billion.
The digest is the value of all real and personal property, as well as registered vehicles, in the county. Officials in the county, school district and city governments use the digest to establish tax
revenues and set their budgets for the following year.
Cobb’s Board of Tax Assessors unanimously approved the 2012 digest on June 27. Tax Commissioner Gail Downing and Hogsed plan to present the digest to the state department of revenue on July 30, Hogsed said.
After state officials certify the digest, the tax commissioner can send tax bills. Bills are usually sent by Aug. 15 and are due by Oct. 15.
Nine taxing entities in Cobb use the tax digest: the county commission; Cobb and Marietta City schools; and the cities of Acworth, Austell, Kennesaw, Marietta, Powder Springs and Smyrna.
The two Community Improvement Districts in Cobb — Cumberland and Town Center Area — levy an additional tax on commercial properties inside their boundaries.
The two CIDs are the only entities in Cobb that saw their overall digests increase in value in 2012.
Here are the digests, by entity:
* Cobb Schools: $26.32 billion, down 2.45 percent from $26.98 billion in 2011.
* City of Marietta, and Marietta City Schools: $2.6 billion, down 0.86 percent from $2.63 billion last year.
* Smyrna: $1.99 billion, down 2.91 percent from $2.05 billion in 2011.
* Kennesaw: $1.01 billion, down 2.95 percent from $1.04 billion last year.
* Acworth: $619 million, down 6.96 percent from $666 million in 2011.
* Powder Springs: $331 million, down 8.41 percent from $361 million.
* Austell: $158 million, down 11.79 percent from $179 million in 2011. On Wednesday, the city council is expected to approve increasing the tax rate from 3.123 mills to 4 mills.
* Cumberland CID: $1.11 billion, up 0.99 percent from $1.10 billion last year.
* Town Center Area CID: $601 million, up 3.30 percent from $582 million in 2011.
Chairman Lee said that, at this moment, the county’s projections for 2013 are improving.
“We’re planning the 2013 digest to be flat, which is positive in that we’re projecting no further decline,” Lee said. “That’s a positive indicator of where Cobb stands.”
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