MARIETTA — Ron Sifen, president of the Cobb County Civic Coalition, asked the county’s legislators last week to create legislation that would tighten the terms under which development authorities in the state give tax breaks to developers.
Sifen said taxpayers in the CCCC are not opposed to tax abatements, but they do not like the way development authorities have discretion over who receives a tax break. Sifen told members of the Cobb Legislative Delegation at the YWCA of Northwest Georgia on Tuesday that development authorities don’t always have criteria to follow in giving tax breaks.
“What we are asking the legislature to do is basically to require development authorities to adhere to the established criteria, and not just open the door to we’re going to give tax abatements to for no reason to whoever we want to give them to,” Sifen said.
The Development Authority of Cobb County has the ability to allow a developer to skip out on paying its full share of taxes by agreeing to a schedule, which usually lasts 10 years, during which the developer can pay only a portion, sometimes as low as 10 percent, of the property taxes it would owe to the county and the school system.