Taxes & Budget

Taxpayer's Receipt (Coming Soon)

Our office is creating a tool just for you so you can explore where your tax dollars are going! You can also provide insight as to what you think should change or where improvements should be made.

Where Does My Money Go? (Click to read the Laws)

According to our Enabling Legislation, our County Code requires us to accommodate the costs of:

The governing authority of Cobb County shall provide an adequate place and facilities for holding said court at the county site.

The Constitution holds us the following requirements:

Supplementary powers. (a) In addition to and supplementary of all powers possessed by or conferred upon any county, municipality, or any combination thereof, any county, municipality, or any combination thereof may exercise the following powers and provide the following services: (1) Police and fire protection. (2) Garbage and solid waste collection and disposal. (3) Public health facilities and services, including hospitals, ambulance and emergency rescue services, and animal control. -60- (4) Street and road construction and maintenance, including curbs, sidewalks, street lights, and devices to control the flow of traffic on streets and roads constructed by counties and municipalities or any combination thereof. (5) Parks, recreational areas, programs, and facilities. (6) Storm water and sewage collection and disposal systems. (7) Development, storage, treatment, purification, and distribution of water. (8) Public housing. (9) Public transportation. (10) Libraries, archives, and arts and sciences programs and facilities. (11) Terminal and dock facilities and parking facilities. (12) Codes, including building, housing, plumbing, and electrical codes. (13) Air quality control. (14) The power to maintain and modify heretofore existing retirement or pension systems, including such systems heretofore created by general laws of local application by population classification, and to continue in effect or modify other benefits heretofore provided as a part of or in addition to such retirement or pension systems and the power to create and maintain retirement or pension systems for any elected or appointed public officers and employees whose compensation is paid in whole or in part from county or municipal funds and for the beneficiaries of such officers and employees. (b) Unless otherwise provided by law, (1) No county may exercise any of the powers listed in subparagraph (a) of this Paragraph or provide any service listed therein inside the boundaries of any municipality or any other county except by contract with the municipality or county affected; and (2) No municipality may exercise any of the powers listed in subparagraph (a) of this Paragraph or provide any service listed therein outside its own boundaries except by contract with the county or municipality affected. (c) Nothing contained within this Paragraph shall operate to prohibit the General Assembly from enacting general laws relative to the subject matters listed in subparagraph (a) of this Paragraph or to prohibit the General Assembly by general law from regulating, restricting, or limiting the exercise of the powers listed therein; but it may not withdraw any such powers. (d) Except as otherwise provided in subparagraph (b) of this Paragraph, the General Assembly shall act upon the subject matters listed in subparagraph (a) of this Paragraph only by general law.

Power of taxation. (a) Except as otherwise provided in this Paragraph, the governing authority of any county, municipality, or combination thereof may exercise the power of taxation as authorized by this Constitution or by general law. (b) In the absence of a general law: (1) County governing authorities may be authorized by local law to levy and collect business and occupational license taxes and license fees only in the unincorporated areas of the counties. The General Assembly may provide that the revenues raised by such tax or fee be spent for the provision of services only in the unincorporated areas of the county. (2) Municipal governing authorities may be authorized by local law to levy and collect taxes and fees in the corporate limits of the municipalities. (c) The General Assembly may provide by law for the taxation of insurance companies on the basis of gross direct premiums received from insurance policies within the unincorporated areas of counties. The tax authorized herein may be imposed by the state or by counties or by the state for county purposes as may be provided by law. The General Assembly may further provide by law for the reduction, only upon taxable property within the unincorporated areas of counties, of the ad valorem tax millage rate for county or county school district purposes or for the reduction of such ad valorem tax millage rate for both such purposes in connection with imposing or authorizing the imposition of the tax authorized herein or in connection with providing for the distribution of the proceeds derived from the tax authorized herein.

Interactive Diagrams on the Way!

  • Schools

  • Debt Repayments (Truist Park & Conference Center)

  • Tax Commissioner's Office and Employees

  • Sheriff's Office and Employees

  • County Jail

  • Courts, Judges, courthouses and Staff

  • Parks & Trails

  • Roads, Road Maintenance, ROW Beautification, sidewalks, streetlights

  • Libraries

  • 911 Services

  • Emergency and Disaster Relief

  • Police Department

  • Fire Department

  • Water/Sewer Agency, sinkholes, water treatment

  • Elections

  • Code Enforcement

  • County Legal Matters

  • Zoning & Planning analysis

  • Economic Development

  • Cybersecurity, Call Lines

  • Senior Services Agency

  • SPLOSTS: Roads, New Buildings/Facilities, Safety Equipment

  • Contingency (Savings on net costs, minimum contingency)

What Are the Current Budgetary Challenges?

  • Competitiveness/ Recruitment

    • Nearby counties and cities compete for the same talent pool. There is also competitiveness with the private sector given the removal of many government benefits such as the pension. There is also an overall decrease in the talent available for specific industries such as public safety. Commissioner Richardson believes we can improve competitiveness and retention through providing a more inclusive and dynamic culture, more significant benefits and increasing base salaries.

    • Impacted areas: Department of Transportation, Water Agency

  • Retention

    • While Cobb County struggles with recruitment, the greatest impact is retention. We have a fantastic county with top notch services and training. That being said, many will join the county, gain the experience, and then go to another government jurisdiction that pays significantly more. Not being the retain talent can be very expensive. These are known as turnover costs. Turnover cost is monetarily expensive due to training and onboarding time, but also in loss of knowledge. Our more senior members of staff are still with the office due to the old benefits system, but there will be a day where retirements become frequent, and we will be left with little to no middle-management. Some department have loss upwards of 400 years of experience this year alone. Retention is also impacted by a phenomenon known as "compression". Compression is when the base salaries are increased and there is no relatively proportional increase in other layers of employment, or even a mis-match within a layer of employment. Note: employees occupy a "rank" within their respective organizations.

    • Impacted areas: Elections, Public Safety (all), PARKS, Water Agency

  • Capacity/ Vacancies

    • High turnover and low competitiveness lend to unpredictable capacity issues, and a high number of vacancies. By solving both, we can improve this issue and ensure we are delivering the same quality without over-expending our current personnel and create more predictable funding models by preventing over time. Service areas lacking in capacity can result in a decrease in service quality and/or managerial decisions that reduce overall safety according to best practices in a service delivery model. Example: combining radio lines for a front line worker.

    • Impacted areas: Department of Transportation, Water Agency, 911 Services

  • Sustainability

    • Budget sustainability is a complex goal as there are many limitations to government accounts on what available monies can be spent on. We know that over the course of time, costs increase and there are also cycles within the market. If we are to maintain a high level of service and relatively low taxes, we will need to be deliberate in how the budget is structured from both a sourcing and long term planning perspective. Certainly terms introduce difficulties in such planning, but the general notion should boil down to: capital expenses need to factor operational expenses over the life of the purchase. Finding the appropriate balance and leveraging capital expense budgets accordingly, and advocated for diversified funding structures will help relieve residents and future boards from being in untenable positions regardless of economic cycles.

  • Industry Changes

    • Internally, competition for talent is very high. It does not help that within certain industries like public safety, the talent pool is shrinking due to many leaving the profession. Commissioner Richardson believes the best way to approach solving this involves: branding, accountability, safety nets, and standardization will help reduce these external constraints. We must be mindful of this impact, however, as it is a sure fire way to drive costs in ways that are burdensome to taxpayers

  • Proactive Service Capability

    • While Cobb's level of service is very high, there are some cascading impacts due to an inability and lack of capacity to be more proactive in providing certain services. Examples include: stormwater management, code enforcement, and building maintenance. Commissioner Richardson believes this can be solved with an increased operational jurisdiction for systemic reviews and proper capital investments that increase automation and transparency and reduce long term operational costs.

  • Capital Improvement Maintenance

    • For decades, Cobb County has underinvested in its capital improvements projects. This leads to larger costs in both technology and facility maintenance. By adequately funding such necessities, we can keep costs predictable and reduce costly liabilities related to tech or structure failures.

Where do I learn more about the Tax Commissioner's Office?

Tax Commissioner's Office

About The Office

The Tax Commissioner’s Office is established by the Georgia Constitution, and is responsible for every phase of collecting and disbursing ad valorem property taxes. Our staff is separated into two divisions:

The Property Tax Division bills, collects and distributes ad valorem property taxes for real, personal property, heavy duty equipment, mobile homes and public utilities. In addition, this division processes homestead exemptions and conducts tax sales. They are also responsible for preparing the tax digest each year.

The Motor Vehicle Division serves as a tag agent on behalf of the Georgia Department of Revenue. They collect and distribute ad valorem property taxes for vehicles as well as enforce local laws for registration requirements, insurance, emissions and mobile home ownership.

Revenue is distributed to the Cobb County Finance Department and the Cobb County Board of Education on a weekly basis. Visit our Property Overview page for more information about the average percentage of revenue collected among our taxing authorities for real and personal property taxes. Of note, mobile home and heavy duty taxes are collected not only for the county, the Georgia Department of Revenue, the Cobb County Board of Education and the county CIDs, but for all six cities in Cobb County.

Express Your Thoughts to the Commissioner