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Board of Commission Rain Tax Vote on Tuesday, residents urged to learn more about the proposed tax and attend the meeting


Cobb County residents continue to express deep concern regarding the proposed rain tax by certain members of the Cobb Board of Commissioners. Spearheaded by Chair Lisa Cupid and others, these measures have raised fears among residents that they will face increased financial burdens, potentially leading to displacement from their homes.

Critics argue that the proposed tax initiatives are being rushed through without adequate consideration and lack empathy for those they will affect. This sentiment has prompted widespread dissatisfaction among citizens, who are actively voicing their objections.

An upcoming crucial meeting of the Cobb Board of Commissioners is scheduled for Tuesday, March 26, 2024 at 7:00 p.m. Deliberations and a vote on the proposed tax are expected to take place. The meeting will be held in the BOC meeting room on the second floor of the Cobb Administrative Building, 100 Cherokee St., Marietta. Residents are strongly encouraged to attend this meeting and sign up for a public speaking slot to share their perspectives on these tax proposals.

Furthermore, a resident of Cobb, Hill Wright, has provided SPOTLIGHT additional commentary and background information, including a link to their website, which he says will offer detailed insights into the stormwater tax proposal. Additionally, Hill referenced recent code amendments, highlighting the challenges in accessing the updated versions on the county’s website.https://www.cobbcounty.org/community-development/news/march-2024-code-amendments-now-available. For those seeking more information, the provided links offer valuable resources to understand the nuances of the proposed tax measures and recent code amendments. Residents are urged to stay informed and actively participate in the decision-making process affecting their community. Hill also released the below press release:

Hill also provided additional background he wanted citizens to know prior to Tuesday’s BOC meeting and vote.

Here is his commentary:


In 1985 Cobb County moved the stormwater department from Economic and Community Development to the water department. They added a small fee to the water bill for stormwater for residents who received their bill from Cobb Water. This was supposedly going to fund the water department. However, the county quickly saw this as a cash cow and started transferring up to 15-18 million into the general fund starting stormwater. The stormwater department has therefore been underfunded since they are the red-headed stepchildren in the water department. Instead of Chair Cupid tightening her belt on spending and putting the funds back in the water, they are asking residents to tighten their belts while she creates another cash cow which we call the rain tax because it’s enabling taxation to continue through diverted dollars. The code allows the tax to be increased by a simple vote on the board. It is the cow that keeps on giving.

Transfer Liability to citizens

In 1985 with the transfer of the stormwater department came a record loss. Records showed that the county was responsible for maintaining huge stormwater pipes on private property. Between 1985 and 2003, there was no formal process for stormwater submissions, so the records are incomplete. In 2003 they finally put in place a process. 

In 2021 when wide flash floods occurred in Cobb County, I visited over 300 homes to see the damage for myself. I listened to homeowners as they consistently were told by the county that they had no record of the pipes running through their yards. The county went back to the platts as the record. But the platts do not often have the as-built stormwater easements with pipes shown. I have in a few instances found other records because of a past transaction where platts did not show as built stormwater features but the county had taken ownership. Yet when the 2021 flooding occurred the county denied responsibility until these few lucky homeowners were able to find proof of county responsibility. The code amendment would codify this false record using platts to limit the county’s responsibility to maintain these pipes and push that onto residents. Last night Becky Klien spoke giving an account of how she had to struggle for over a year to deal repair the pipes and how she had to take a second job to pay for it. I know of cases where retirees had to go back to work after their retirement savings were wiped out. Chair Cupid and her two vote supporters don’t care what they do to the citizens. Judy Jones does not care. All she cares about is protecting budgets. Their solution is to rewrite the code to remove locality from the county and place it on the residents no matter the hardship it causes and if they can’t pay, the county takes them to court and puts a lien on their property.

The county also passed faulty stormwater construction. One homeowner had engineering drawings that clearly stated not to raise the elevation. The builder added a basement and a Cobb County inspector signed off on it. The county response was well we don’t think about stormwater when we inspect and if we fix this, we know of a dozen others we would have to fix. The solution, the county put a clause in the code to say the county is not responsible for their negligence in inspection. 

Double Taxation

Residents who live in incorporated Cobb who have other utilities from a city such as Marietta power, lights, and water have built-in taxes that go to the city to fund city operations including stormwater. These residents will be billed twice. 

Taxing dirt

Judy Jones in the presentation in South Cobb said that any hardened surface would be taxed. She said this would include compacted dirt, gravel, and rocks used to line streams to control erosion. People who live in ranch-style houses will be taxed more too which will impact a lot of seniors who need to live on one level. They are going to look at aerial photos to find a way to extract every cent from your property. If you want to appeal, you have to hire a professional engineer to prepare a drawing within 30 days.

For more information or to discuss the above commentary, contact Hill Wright directly at: thehill.springcreek@gmail.com


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