An educated and informed electorate
Cobb County Government is keeping residents informed through a series of public meetings this summer concerning the construction of the upcoming year’s budget.
In May, national rating agencies Moody’s Investor Service and Fitch Ratings reaffirmed Cobb’s “Triple A” rating on tax anticipation notes, but downgraded the county’s financial outlook. Moody’s revised its outlook on Cobb County to “negative.”
“I think it confirms my concerns that this county has been relying on its past accolades,” said Cobb Commission Chairman Mike Boyce. “And it shows we must go down a different path when formulating the Fiscal Year 2019 budget.”
A statement from Moody’s says the revised outlook “reflects the fiscal challenges the county faces, driven by a projected operating deficit in fiscal 2018 and a sizable budget gap in fiscal 2019, likely bringing reserve levels significantly below the national medians for Aaa-rated counties for the next two fiscal years.”
Boyce says he will reiterate his stance on the budget during a series of town hall meetings throughout Cobb County in June and July.
“We have been drawing down our reserves using buckets of one-time monies,” said Boyce. “But there are no more buckets to raid.”
Without a millage rate increase this year, Cobb faces a downgrade in its credit rating, said Boyce. That would make borrowing money in the future more expensive for taxpayers. The county is forced to apply for tax obligation notes each year because the county’s fiscal year does not align with tax collections.
The chairman plans seven town hall meetings and the county commission has three public hearings scheduled before the adoption of the FY19 budget and millage rate on July 25.
The town hall meetings will take place June 18 at the East Cobb Senior Center, June 19 at the North Cobb Senior Center, June 20 at the Senior Wellness Center, June 25 at the Freeman Poole Senior Center, June 27 at the West Cobb Senior Center, June 28 at the South Cobb Community Center and July 9 at Sewell Mill Library. All town halls are scheduled for 7 p.m.
The Board of Commissioners will hold three public hearings on the county millage and budget. They will be held at 9 a.m., Tuesday, July 10, 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 17 and 7 p.m., Wednesday, July 25. All three hearings will be held in the BOC Room on the second floor of 100 Cherokee St., Marietta. The July 10 and 25 hearings will be held as part of the BOC’s regular monthly meetings.