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Published on June 21, 2024
Cobb County Chairwoman Lisa Cupid Moves to Mediate Service Delivery Strategy with CitiesSource: Cobb County

In a move to navigate the complexities of local government and taxation, Cobb County Chairwoman Lisa Cupid has confirmed the county's intent to enter mediation with its six cities over Service Delivery Strategy (SDS) negotiations. This pivot follows months of discussions that began in March 2023, with both sides now agreeing to a mediated approach to finalize an SDS agreement, as reported on Cobb County's official website.

According to the mandate from the state, Cobb County and its cities are obliged to establish an updated SDS every ten years, and with the current one expiring on October 31, 2024, the clock is indeed ticking for the involved parties to craft an arrangement that avoids the pitfall of double taxation for residents on services, a situation both legally and ethically dubious, the last such agreement having been in place since 2004. Mediation is tentatively scheduled to start later this summer, marking a deliberate advancement towards a resolution.

"Our primary objective is to identify the services received by every resident in this county, regardless of whether they reside in a city or unincorporated Cobb County," Chairwoman Cupid said in a statement, according to Cobb County's official website. She stressed the goal of equitable taxation for county services, "We are steadfast in our commitment to ensure that residents are taxed equitably for these services," a sentiment signaling the administration’s persistence in negotiating fair terms during the upcoming mediation.

With the intricacies of providing public services to diverse jurisdictions, the county’s adherence to state law in creating a balanced playing field is pivotal. This approach promises to dedicate appropriate focus towards securing a functional and fair arrangement, as the necessity to reflect the valuable services that residents, both city and county, depend on daily dictates the urgency and commitment Chairwoman Cupid and her counterparts in the cities hold towards achieving this objective.