Savannah mulls over increased property taxes for blighted proper - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Savannah mulls over increased property taxes for blighted property

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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

Savannah is looking to get tough on people who let their property get run down and hit them where it hurts: their taxes.

If you own a blighted property or if your home isn't up to code and your property is a mess, the city is looking at raising your property tax. If you think you're devaluing your property, think again.

Over the years Savannah has put out their list of the 100 worst properties in the city, and Property Maintenance and Sanitation Bureau Chief Gene Prevatt said Property Maintenance has taken care of 300 plus abandoned, blighted buildings and eye sores, but the problem persists, so Prevatt is suggesting raising the millage rate for property owners who fall into code violations. This means the city can use those taxes to fix the properties up.

The City Council wants to add even more teeth to the laws and overhaul the property maintenance codes, claiming blight is one of the biggest complaints from residents.

"They are frankly tired of it, and I'm tired of it," said City Council member John Hall. "It needs more teeth and it needs to be more effective. Just writing a citation means nothing if the fines and consequences are no good."

Hall would like to see the city add more Property Maintenance workers to the mix. They'll take the suggestions and share them with the city manager and the mayor, who are out of town and were not at Thursday's meeting.

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