Gov. Kemp signs bill to raise hotel/motel tax in Savannah

Published: May. 9, 2023 at 3:25 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The tax rate to stay at a hotel in Savannah now matches other communities across Georgia.

Visitors to the Hostess City will soon pay a little more for a room now that Governor Brian Kemp has signed a hotel-motel tax increase into law.

The law brings Savannah’s tax rate up to 8% from 6%.

City leaders and local lawmakers told WTOC back in March that the change puts them on par with other places like Tybee Island and Macon.

“This was a seven-year journey. For us to get to this point where visitors help to pay for things that visitors enjoy, but that we all enjoy is a huge shift and another opportunity for us to be able to expand our financial and revenue streams,” said Mayor Van Johnson.

There’s still a few more steps to go.

The mayor says Tuesday’s signing paves the way for the council to change the city’s tax code.

There’s already a few projects in sight for the new tax.

The mayor says revitalizing River Streets, finishing up work on the city’s Tide to Town walking and biking network, and renovating the Historic Waterworks building next to the arena are all on the list.