Savannah City Council votes to raise hotel/motel tax

Published: May. 25, 2023 at 11:04 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Savannah City Council voted to raise the hotel-motel tax from 6% to 8% percent Thursday night.

It’s made possible after Governor Brian Kemp signed a bill into law earlier this month allowing for the increase.

Now that the increase has passed city council, it’s expected to take effect September 1st.

Savannah is now expected to collect $52 million dollars in hotel/motel tax revenue for 2023, according to City Manager Jay Melder.

For reference, the city collected more than $27.9 million in 2021.

It’s something Mayor Van Johnson says the city has been pushing for a while.

“The prevailing thought around our community is that tourism should pay a larger share of community improvements and community enhancements in our city. We are a tourist city. We enjoy being a tourism city,” said Mayor Van Johnson.

Johnson says funding from the hotel motel tax will go toward things like revitalizing River Street, finishing the Tide to Town walking and biking trails, and renovating the Historic Waterworks building, among other things.