SAVANNAH, Ga (WSAV) – The new fiscal school year begins in less than two weeks. Now, Savannah Chatham schools have a new budget.
Many board members were overjoyed the millage rate levied on county residents did not increase. It’s because of that no-change though that some homeowners will have to pay more this year for taxes on their home or land.
“We are grateful that we did not have to consider raising the millage rate this year and hopefully we won’t have to next year but keep in mind very, very lean budget,” says District 5 board member Irene Hines.
The Savannah Chatham public school system plans to set aside $394 million to fund the next school year. They are not changing the millage rate to pay for it, but an almost three percent increase may be seen on property taxes.
“For the average tax person that means your taxes will remain the same, the only way you will see a tax increase is if your property was reappraised at a higher value,” says interim Chief Financial Officer Larry Jackson.
That’s because the Chatham tax assessor tells the board property values county-wide are rising. The school board could have voted on a roll back rate that would have led to no tax increases, but they kept the current rate dating back to 2015.
“I think the board has made a commitment towards to compensating our teachers and staff in a more appropriate fashion,” says board president Jolene Byrne
This new budget will increase teachers’ pay by 2%. It will also raise many staff members’ salaries, an increase they were on track to receive prior to the recession.
“That was the main focus this to make sure all employees received a pay raise, or a pay increase,” says Jackson.
You can go online to the Chatham County tax assessors page to login and see if you home values are expected to increase.