Savannah city council considering millage rate options

City of Savannah
City of Savannah(WTOC)
Updated: Jul. 9, 2020 at 5:52 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Savannah City Council is considering their options for property tax, or millage rate for 2020 at Thursday’s council workshop.

The City’s budgeting team really needed some direction from Council Thursday so they can organize the advertisement of the millage rate, per state law requirements.

And here were the three options in front of Savannah’s elected leaders. Council can either adopt the 2020 budgeted rate of 12.856, which is 2019′s rate, but technically still an increase. Or the can consider property tax rates on either side of that. One is an increase to 13.420, the other is a rollback to 12.739.

While some on Council brought up their campaign promises to not raise property tax, the majority acknowledged with so many unknowns on the horizon due to the financial impact of COVID-19, the best option might be the 2020 budgeted rate.

“I do think that raising the millage rate is out of the question given our currently situation in terms of mechanically raising it. So our options are either really to maintain the current rate, or to adopt the roll back rate. Again, the roll back rate creates a situation where they’ll have to make some decisions in terms of how they handle service enhancements or lack thereof as to be affected,” said Mayor Van Johnson.

Council asked to have staff consider both the rollback and the 2020 rate to give them something to consider.

The first public gearing for the millage rate proposal will be July 23.

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