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Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 11:00am

Chatham Considers Tax Increases

Residents in Savannah's Chatham County will have one more chance tomorrow to tell county officials what they think of proposed property tax hikes.

Some residents could see four different millage rate increases in one month.

The school board approved a millage rate increase Wednesday.

The county commission and public transit board are considering rate hikes.

And people who live in the county's so-called special service district outside city limits also could face their own increase.

The confluence is sparking debate.

Community activist Marianne Heimes says the proposed county tax hikes are unusal.

"Everything keeps going up and up and up. It's hard to figure where this is all going to go because it never seems to stop."

Commissioner Helen Stone says she can support only the public transit board's proposed increase because it's needed to pay off loans.

"The money is going to come from the county one way or the other," Stone says. "We can't duck and hide from that money that's owed."

But the transit board recently hiked its director's salary.

Commissioners also are questioning expenses at the county jail.

The school board rate went up 7%.

Officials will vote on the 13% county, 44% public transit and 17% special service district increases at their meeting on Friday.

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