Garden City approves property tax - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Garden City approves property tax

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GARDEN CITY, GA (WTOC) -

Garden City has never had a property tax in its 75 year existence, but that has changed.

City council members voted on Monday 4-3 in favor of a four mill property tax increase after several public hearings. The property tax will be four mill, or $4 for every thousand dollars 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.

This was the third straight year the issue has come to the table, each time the vote was struck down. That changed Monday night, with the City Council making it clear Garden City needs money.

"They do not want to lose their services, but they don't want to pay taxes. What are you going to do?," said Mayor Tennyson Holder.

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.

This new property tax will help with things like health care cost increases, police and fire needs, or an across the board pay increase for city employees.

The fear is it may go up in the future.

"Maybe two years from now, maybe four, it will go up," said Mayor Pro-Tem, Scott George.

"I do not know what the future holds because no one has a crystal ball. It is my desire to keep the millage rate at four," said Councilman Don Bethune.

Many small business owners were not please as well.

"I won't be recommending Garden City to any small businesses that want to come, and I use to be all for it," said Nancy Cox, who lives in Garden City.

"I think it was the right move for Garden City at this time. Taxes would have had to come up and the longer you wait the more behind the eight ball you are," said Mayor Holder.

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