March 29, 2018
For Immediate Release
Council Approves Fire Fee Discount Program
SAVANNAH, GA (March 29, 2018) — During today’s regular meeting, Savannah City Council approved the Fire Fee Discount Program. The program will allow property owners to apply for and receive discounts on their City of Savannah fire fee. Discounts are available for items and activities which support fire safety and reduce the risk of fire, such as installing smoke detectors or creating and practicing evacuation plans (a table summarizing available discounts can be found at www.savannahga.gov/firefee.
The City currently anticipates billing the 2018 fire fee on the second installment property tax bill in September, 2018. Property owners can apply for the fire fee discount program between April 15, 2018 and June 1, 2018. Details about the program and the application can be found online at www.savannahga.gov/firefee.
The fire fee, which City Council adopted with the 2018 budget, will establish a dedicated fund for the Savannah Fire Department and serve as a more equitable and stable way to fund Savannah Fire services since it spreads the cost to all properties that benefit from the service, including tax exempt properties. The fire fee will operate as a special revenue fund, similar to water, sewer and sanitation. Fire fee revenue can only be spent on fire services. Customers are billed based on the cost burden to Savannah Fire associated with their property, not the property value.
The fire fee for all single family residences, before any discounts are applied, is $256 for 2018. The City will be sending out letters in April to property owners who will be billed a fire fee greater than the base $256 letting them know their estimated fire fee amount. This group consists of houses of worship, commercial, industrial or educational facilities.
“We hope these letters will help property owners better gauge the financial impact the fire fee will have before they receive the actual bill later this year,” Chief Financial Officer David Maxwell.
The City is still finalizing a Fire Fee Hardship Assistance Program to assist income-eligible residential property owners with the challenge of meeting the financial obligation of the fire service fee. Qualifying residents will be eligible for a 100% waiver, but will also need to complete the Fire Fee Discount Program application.
For additional information regarding the City’s fire fee or the discount program, contact the Revenue Department by phone at (912) 525-2810, via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the City of Savannah’s Fire Fee web page at www.savannahga.gov/firefee