Property taxes expected to increase in Chatham County

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) – Taxpayers in Chatham County can expect to see their property tax bills increase this year under proposals by two taxing entities.

The millage rate proposal by the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System (SCCPSS) could have the biggest impact on taxpayers because public school taxes make up the largest chunk of property tax bills in Chatham County.

Also, the way the real estate market has heated up over the past year means many property owners have seen their home values ​​increase.

WTOC Investigates has reported on the dramatic spike in home sales prices over the past year and a tight real estate market that’s led to buyer bidding wars in the Savannah area. Those market values ​​are being factored into each property owner’s assessment value.

Property assessments are the baseline for calculating property taxes. Within the past week, the Chatham County Board of Assessors has mailed property owners their assessment notice for 2022. They are not final as property owners can file an appeal.

If a homeowner’s assessed value does increase, it means the homeowner will pay more taxes unless the rollback millage rates are adopted by the local tax district boards.

Right now, neither Chatham County nor SCCPSS are proposing rollback rates.

Here’s a look at the millage rates being considered by each and how much taxes could increase:

Savannah-Chatham County School System

  • Current Millage rate: 18,131 mils
  • Proposed millage rate: 17,631 mils
  • Rollback rate: 16.218

While the proposed millage rate is down from last year, the school system says it would result in a nearly 9 percent property tax increase from last year because overall property values ​​have gone up.

For a homeowner, the school system says the proposed rate change amounts to an additional $103.15 in school taxes based on a home valued at 187,500 with a homestead exemption.

Again, this is a proposed rate. The board of education is required by law to have public hearings and vote on the rate options.

The public hearings are planned for 11 am and 6 pm on June 15th at the Jessie Collier DeLoach Board Room of the Whitney Administrative Complex at 2 Laura Avenue in Savannah. Another one is planned for 6 pm June 22 at the same location.

If you can’t make it to a public hearing and would like to make a comment, please call the Board Office at 912.395.5534 or email Mary.Davis-Brown@sccpss.com no later than 5 pm on Wednesday, June 15 and no later than 5 pm on Wednesday, June 22.

Chatham County considers millage rate increase

There are three different millage rates the Chatham County Commission decides. The county is proposing to keep the same rates as last year, which would result in a tax increase.

For the county’s general maintenance and operations rate, the options being considered:

  • The current rate: 11,543 mills
  • Proposed rate: 11,543 mills
  • The rollback rate: 10,518 mils

Under the proposed rate, the tax increase for a home with a fair market value of $225,000 would pay approximately $76.87 and the proposed tax increase for non-homestead property with a fair market value of $450,000 is approximately $179.38, according to an example provided by Chatham County.

The Special Service District rates being considered are:

  • Current rate: 4.801 mils
  • Proposed rate: 4,801 mils
  • Rollback rate: 4,502 mils

Under the proposed rate, the tax increase for a home with a fair market value of $275,000 is approximately $29.90 and the proposed tax increase for non-homestead property with a fair market value of $375,000 is approximately $44.85, according to an example provided by Chatham County .

The Chatham Area Transit Authority millage rates being considered.

  • Current rate 1,150 mils.
  • Proposed rate: 1,150 mils.
  • Rollback rate: 1.056 mils

Under the proposed rate, the tax increase for a home with a fair market value of $225,000 is approximately $7.05 and the proposed tax increase for non-homestead property with a fair market value of $375,000 is approximately $14.10, according to an example provided by Chatham County .

Two public hearings about the Chatham County proposed rate increases will happen at 9:30 am and 6 pm on June 16 at the Commission Meeting Room on the second floor of the Old Courthouse at 124 Bull Street in Savannah.

A third public hearing will be held at the same location at 9:30 am on June 24.

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