SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Savannah City Council voted to adopt a new millage, or property tax rate, at Thursday’s meeting.
Following news of millions in CARES Act funding coming to the city, as well as city staff cutting hundreds of thousands from their budgets, City Council voted unanimously to adopt a rollback rate.
Leading up to this week, council was weighing two options, the rollback and the current rate. It wasn’t until city staff did their number crunching and noticed that the CARES Act funding was coming in that all of council started leaning toward the rollback.
Initially, adopting a rollback would’ve meant a $600,000 shortfall in the City’s budget. That’s because the millage rate is based on property value, and overall, property value is expected to drop due to the pandemic, according to Savannah Mayor Van Johnson.
So for a home valued at $100,000, at the new rate the homeowner would pay $509.56 annually. That’s $4.68 less than the previous rate.
The rollback rate passed unanimously, and just before the vote was taken several on council weighed-in, including the alderman from District 6 who said the city needs to continue monitoring spending.
“I hope that rolling back the tax rate is just a minute thing that is going to help the folks in my district. And I do support the rollback rate. I do want to say that I think we do have to tighten our belt a little bit as a city moving forward,” Alderman Kurtis Purtee said.
A second part to the millage rate vote was adopting a special service district tax rate for the water taxi back and forth from Hutchinson Island, that was .2 mills.