Cobb County Enterprise Zones

These zones are being defined throughout Cobb County, but let me focus on Canton Road area.

Commissioner JoAnn Birrell is proposing, to the Cobb Commissioners, to expand the Canton Road Enterprise Zone to give businesses a non-school property tax exemption (they will till pay the taxes for schools which reflect about 2/3 of the total property taxes) for a number of years…5 with full exemption, another two years at 80% exemption, then 4 straight years reducing each year by 20% until the exemption is gone…and so is business?

How much money does this mean? And who will get the exemption – any sized business or a certain # of full time or total employees? And existing businesses never got an exemption but if they add enough employees, they get one? That seems a bit unfair, especially if there’s a competitor who moves in and local government gives tax favors to them over a one who’s been there for years. Is local government playing favorites again?

And is this incentive necessary? If Canton Road was of any interest to businesses in the past, they would have moved there by now.

There’s a reported 38 sites eligible for these zones, but 13 of those sites were along Canton Road.

Bottom line: Local government should continue to stay out of creating artificial incentives for businesses to locate in these areas because the business’ profitability without them should determine location decision.
Source: MDJ, 6-24-2014, B6

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