AROUND TOWN: Cobb GOP to County Government: keep taxes low

THE COBB GOP on Tuesday passed a resolution prompted by Cobb Chairman Mike Boyce’s plan to increase the county’s tax rate that not only encourages the commission to keep taxes low, but to lower them further.

The resolution points out that the majority of commissioners identify as Republican, “a party whose platform endorses fiscal restraint and free market competition in the marketplace, and discourages increasing taxes.”

It also notes “there have been several examples identified of waste in Cobb County Government spending, and no operational audit of the county government has been performed, nor have any reductions in spending been proposed at the town hall meetings hosted by the Chairman, but many increases in spending have been proposed, including new spending on a ‘tent city’ concept, and a tax increase would be an undue burden on the community.”

The resolution calls on commissioners to develop a budget “which keeps our taxes low (and even lowers them further) as our residents have come to expect and balances the budget by reducing spending, divesting from all business-type enterprise activities which provide services readily available from the private sector, and reducing expenditure on non-core services.”

Raising taxes should be the absolutely last option for the commission, Cobb GOP Chairman Jason Shepherd said Tuesday evening.

“At the end of the day we understand that Cobb County has to balance its budget. But we’ve just had a hike in the water rates. There’s potential other special mills that have been discussed that may come down the pike as well, and the county should be doing everything it can to lower taxes,” Shepherd said. “They should be finding what they can still cut, what the county government doesn’t need to be involved in that may be able to be turned over to the private sector for a profit and be able to look at ways to reduce the tax burden.”

Shepherd said it was not his party’s intention to tie the commission’s hands and oppose any tax increase.