Cobb's Board approves millage rate and FY23 budget
July 26, 2022 - Cobb County’s Board of Commissioners approved the 2022 millage rate and 2023 budget during its Tuesday night meeting. The general fund millage rate remains steady at 8.46 mills, but the budget climbed by more than $60 million primarily due to a tax digest fueled by a rise in property values.
The board adopted a $22 million compensation and classification study designed to increase county employees’ pay to more competitive levels. A previous study showed that the county’s pay rates were eight percent below similar governmental entities, leading to significant vacancies across county departments. The budget will move the minimum pay rate in the county to $17/hour.
The budget also adds 148 new positions out of the 658 new staffers department managers had requested during a series of work sessions since last fall.
Despite calls to roll back the millage rate during a public hearing, Board of Commissioners Chairwoman Lisa Cupid said doing that would imperil county services as Cobb continues to grow.
“This is not a panacea, but tonight will help us get there,” Cupid said. “This board is doing the best it can do to be good stewards of your county tax dollars and the services that you expect us to provide. Cobb County is one of the best counties in the state, if not the nation, but we can’t continue to maintain it as such under these conditions. Rolling (the millage) back would only make this county more compromised than the county you expect us to be.”
County Manager Dr. Jackie McMorris echoed the sentiment, telling the board many who work for the county are below the poverty line and can barely make ends meet.
“It burdens me to have to listen to someone say they don’t have the money to replace a refrigerator that’s not working or to replace tires on their car, or they don’t have the luxury of some of the things many of us take for granted,” Dr. McMorris said. “But yet they show up every single day to do the work of this county. I don’t know how we can sleep at night and wonder how some of our employees who have been here this long deserve this.”