SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Savannah City Council on Thursday voted to adopt a rollback millage rate which freezes property tax payments at the current level.
The rollback rate, estimated at 12.739 mills, is millage rate that will generate the same amount of revenue as the previous year’s millage rate, minus new construction or annexation.
Savannah City Manager Pat Monahan said that thousandth digit could go up or down due to a mathematical miscalculation — a “minute difference” but one he wanted to acknowledge.
Two options were on the table: maintain the current rate, state law classifies as an increase, or opt for a rollback rate that would lower property taxes. But some council members insisted right now isn’t a time to increase property taxes.
This means the city’s property tax revenue would be down $600,000, and that’s with the city already facing a $13.2 million shortcoming due to COVID-19.
Mayor Van Johnson said some of the areas they are looking at making cuts include $200,000 set aside for legal fees and $10,000 set aside for homelessness initiatives — specifically the transitional housing project on Dundee Street.
“The responsibility of the mayor and alderman is to make sure the city has the things that they need to operate,” Johnson said, “and so on one end, people say cut, but on the other end, they say don’t affect any of my services.”
Council held three hearings to allow the public an opportunity to express their opinions on the millage rate, as is required by Georgia law.
Click HERE for more information about the millage rate and how it could impact you.