Office Towers and Millage Rates. In Cobb County, “Today is an up!”

A 420-foot tower, the tallest in Cobb County, that will anchor German company thyssenkrupp* Elevator’s new North American headquarters at The Battery Atlanta was announced today. 900 jobs will accompany the tower. Governor Nathan Deal shared the news along with thyssenkrupp Elevator CEO Andreas Schierenbeck and thyssenkrupp Elevator Americas CEO Richard Hussey, as well as Mike Plant, president and CEO of the Braves Development Company.

Governor Deal, who initially met thyssenkrupp Elevator executives in Germany two years ago, quipped, “There are lots of ups and downs in the elevator business – but today is an up!” More details about the project, including renderings of how this project will transform the Cumberland skyline, are here.

The other thing that’s going up in Cobb County is the millage rate.

A few minutes past 10:00 last night, the Cobb County Board of Commissioners approved a tax increase of 1.7 mills. There’s not really any concern that there will be an exodus of outraged taxpayers surging to a part of metro Atlanta with lower taxes, though: Cobb’s millage rate is still among the lowest in metro Atlanta.

Commission Chair Mike Boyce, a Republican from east Cobb, spent the past several weeks on a tour of the Cobb explaining the county’s financial situation. It was expected that Commissioner Lisa Cupid, a Democrat from south Cobb, would support the increase, and it was well-known that Commissioner Bob Ott, also an East Cobb Republican, strongly opposed the increase. It’s an election year for Republican Commissioners JoAnn Birell and Bob Weatherford, so their votes faced scrutiny commensurate with their conservative-leaning districts in northern Cobb and in west Cobb, respectively.

Commissioner Weatherford, who previously served on the Acworth Board of Aldermen, was defeated in Tuesday’s GOP runoff by Bill Byrne-backed Keli Gambrill, a consultant and dressage judge from west Cobb. He was also the deciding vote last night.

From the Marietta Daily Journal:

While Weatherford previously said he had hoped to see the county make cuts to spending to reduce the increase, he gave his support to Boyce’s full measure.

“After I lost the election last night, I reflected and said ‘What did I do wrong?’ I decided it’s what I did right that people don’t like,” Weatherford said, to applause from some in the audience. “I made the hard choices that I did what I said I was going to do. I stood up for the county.”

Weatherford concluded, “I will not leave this county worse off than when I got here.”

Increasing the millage rate for Cobb was unquestionably the right move for the Board of Commissioners, and will help maintain Cobb’s position as one of fastest-growing, and most dynamic, areas in metro Atlanta. Now, all we need is transit – but I digress.

*They don’t capitalize it, so I won’t capitalize it.

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1 year ago

I can see why they raised taxes, $350 million to Liberty Media for the new baseball stadium, the cost of police presence around the stadium, and the cost of opening closed libraries and parks shut down to divert money for the baseball stadium adds up. I’m glad I do not live there.

1 year ago

Cobb would probably still have a shortfall even without that ludicrous Braves deal but yeah, that was a pretty awful giveaway to Liberty Media. Cobb pretty much lost the “good governance” reputation a while ago. This is still a pretty backwards county considering its size.

Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse
1 year ago

$350M was nearly 8% of Liberty Media’s market cap of about $4.5 billion at the time of the 2013 deal. Now it’s $8 billion.
Thanks for the Cobb County update.

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