In case you missed the broadcast on WSB-TV last evening regarding the Braves’ stadium financing issue, here is a link to that broadcast: Curveball thrown on the Braves’ financing issue.
Now…to those of you who live beyond Cobb County, and this matter appears to be too localized for you, it really isn’t…because, conceivably, the same “taxing” concepts could be applied in your county if the knuckleheads at the Cobb County Commission get away with what they are trying to get away with.
To make this semi-more amusing to follow, we’ve developed an online dialogue of what must be taking place behind the Iron Curtain of the Cobb Commission between Legal Counsel Deborah Dance and County Commission Chairman Tim Lee.
Mimicing the 1950s show Leave it To Beaver here, Tim “Timmy” Lee is taking on the role of The Beaver, and Deborah “Debby” Dance is assuming the role of Wally, the ever-patient older, wiser sibling.
This is the pilot episode of Leave It To Timmy…hope you enjoy:
Timmy: So, Debby, are you really sure we county commissioners can carve-out a section of Cobb County all on our own, and assess a 3 mil ad valorem tax on all commercial property in that district?
Debby: Of course you all can, Timmy. You are GODS in this county!
Timmy: So…can we also, say, assess a higher tax if we want to?
Debby: Of course! You are GODS, Timmy!
Timmy: And, no one can ever say or do anything to stop us?
Debby: Of course not! You are GODS, Timmy! You can tax whatever you want to tax, and they will pay or else!
Timmy: Well…if we have this power to just draw a district and assess new taxes, why haven’t we done this before? I mean, it’s been a pain some years to juggle mules and water bills and property tax millages and go thru all that budget crappola with all that. Are you saying we could, conceivably, just, perhaps, draw a new special tax district that encompasses any grouping of buildings, charge a tax, and those building owners just have to suck it up and pay it?
Debby: You never asked me before now, Timmy. Of course you can! You commissioners are GODS, Timmy!
Timmy: Well…if it wasn’t for this Braves stadium deal, could we have drawn a new special service district…say….around a bunch of East Cobb homes and just demand that they pay an extra 100 mills on their land? I mean, do we need to have an “economic development deal” in the works to accomplish a ‘special service district’ that really just feeds us more tax dollars?
Debby: No, you don’t need any excuse to draw a special district and assess a new tax and collect it. That is why they are called “special districts.” As long as you say they are “Special”, you can tax anyone any amount of money you want. You county commissioners are GODS! You have more power than anyone at the state or legislative level do over the lives of your loyal subjects in Cobb County. They will gladly pay the county more money just for the pleasure of living on our land and breathing our air.
Timmy: So…could I….could I….
Debby: Yes, Timmy…go on….don’t be afraid to ask….
Timmy: Could I…well, there’s this annoying citizen that always hurls insults at me and the Commission via a publication…can I draw a special special district that just includes his house and assess a 50 mil ad valorem tax on his house? I’m sure I can get two other votes from Helen Goreham and JoAnn Birrell for that.
Debby: Timmy, I see absolutely nothing in OCGA that prevents you from doing that, so if you have the votes of your fellow commissioners, you can draw that district in whatever color crayon you like, assess that tax (or, a higher one if you wish), and that homeowner (like the building owners of a new special tax district) will have absolutely no recourse. He will pay or lose his house.
Timmy: Gosh…this is so awesome. You are so much better a legal counsel than Dotty Bishop was…you’re so…brilliant.
Debby: Awwww…Timmy. You’re so sweet. I get all of my brilliance from my rear-end…just like you get your brilliance from your own rear-end. In fact, pulling things out of our own rear-ends it is a special quality bestowed upon everyone who works for the Cobb County Commission. We are all gods here, and we have many powers over the “citizens” (chortle!) who live within our geographical boundaries.
~~~ End of Episode 1 ~~~