Final hearing on Garden City tax increase - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Final hearing on Garden City tax increase


The final public hearings on a tax increase in Garden City are happening Monday.

The City of Garden City Council is considering adopting a millage rate, which could increase property taxes by 4 mills. 

In its 75 years, Garden City has never had a property tax. 

In the last few years, the city has been dealing with a loss in some of its recurring revenues, from main sources of funding like the local option sales tax.

While the budget is balanced,  mainly through cuts, many city officials say this money won't stretch to cover much needed expenses like health care cost increases, police and fire needs, or an across the board pay increase for city employees.

The council is proposing a property tax of 4 mills, which equals $4 for every $1,000 of taxable property. However, half the homes in garden city are homestead exempt, and of those homes, the ones appraised under $100,000 wouldn't have to pay anything on this tax. 

While many people who attended this morning's meeting are opposed to the tax, some support it.

"I think the city should carefully examine all of its other options before eliminating its competitive advantage forever...because once property taxes are imposed they are going to remain on the books forever," said one resident.

The first public meeting was held on May 5, and now the final two take place on May 19 at 9 a.m. and at 6 p.m., both being held at the City of Garden City Council Chambers on Central Avenue.

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