Savannah — Tax District Proposed
A special tax district is being proposed in Savannah to provide local funding for an expansion of the waterfront heritage streetcar line, Savannah Morning News reports.
The waterfront line, catering to tourists, uses a biofuel diesel-powered ex-Melbourne W-class tram to avoid the need for overhead wires.
The local tax funds would be a match for a federal "TIGER" economic recovery grant the city requested. The city needs a local match of $16 million for the requested funds.
CAT CEO Chadwick Reese is proposing a West Downtown Tax Allocation District, or TAD, is projected to generate anywhere from $36.7 million to $84.5 million in revenue, of which $16 million could be devoted to the streetcar. Reese argues that economic redevelopment will follow the proposed streetcar expansion, as it has in so many other cities.
Development is already underway in the west downtown tax district so supporters argue that the tax would successfully generate funds, unlike a similar district on the east side of downtown where development has not yet taken hold.