Public Meetings Set for Savannah’s Slight Tax Increase

posted by Mark Robertson - 

Public Meetings Set for City’s Slight Tax Increase

The City of Savannah will hold three public meetings about the intended slight increase to the City’s millage rate. On June 28 City Council announced a .92 increase, taking the millage rate from 12.48 mills, adopted in 2017, to 13.40 mills.

All concerned citizens are invited to attend the hearings at City Hall at the following times:

July 5 at 6:00 p.m.

July 19 at 9:45 a.m.

July 19 at 2:00 p.m. (final vote will follow)

By law the City is required to place an advertisement in the newspaper each year and issue a public notice concerning the millage rate. (See attachments) The City’s advertisement indicates a 1.392 mills increase, when it is really a 0.92 mill increase. This is because the State requires the City to use our “rollback rate” as our current rate for advertising purposes. State law requires the calculation of a rollback millage rate that relates property reassessments.

While the proposed rate of 13.40 mills is 7.37% above the 2017 tax rate, it still represents a 23% reduction over the past two decades. (See chart below) For a homeowner with a fair market value of $150,000, this will amount to a property tax increase of $55.20 annually, or $4.60 per month. Per the American Community Survey, the median value of owner-occupied housing units in the City of Savannah is $145,100.

The less than 1 mill increase is being announced in conjunction with the repeal of the Fire Fee which was scheduled to be billed in September 2018. The additional revenues collected from this property tax increase, paired with cuts to the FY18 operating budget, will balance the FY18 budget and allow for the repeal of the Fire Fee.

The Mayor and Aldermen of the City of Savannah have tentatively adopted a 2018 millage rate which will require an increase in property taxes by 11.59 percent.All concerned citizens are invited to the public hearing on this tax increase to be held at the City Hall Council Chambers, located on the corner of Bay and Bull Streets, Savannah, GA on July 5, 2018 at 6:00 pm.Times and places of additional public hearings on this tax increase are at the City Hall Council Chambers, located on the corner of Bay and Bull Streets, Savannah, GA on July 19, 2018 at 9:45 am and 2:00 pm.This tentative increase will result in a millage rate of 13.40 mills, an increase of 1.392 mills. Without this tentative tax increase, the millage rate will be no more than 12.008 mills. The proposed tax increase for a home with a fair market value of $150,000 is approximately $83.52 and the proposed tax increase for non-homestead property with a fair market value of $575,000 is approximately $320.16.

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