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December 6, 2018, City Council Regular Meeting
17. Motion to Adopt Resolution Directing the City Manager to Implement a Level I Freeport Tax Exemption at the Rate of 80% to be Effective January 1, 2019
Strategic Priority
Economic Strength And Poverty Reduction

In accordance with State law, the City of Savannah held a voter referendum on May 20, 2014, at which a majority of the municipal voters approved a Level I Freeport Exemption. This exemption will engender a competitive business environment for manufacturers to remain, relocate or expand their operations in the City of Savannah.

Almost all (89 percent) of Georgia’s counties and more than 140 cities have adopted some level of the Level I Freeport Exemption. The City of Savannah established the initial Level I Freeport Exemption at 20%, and now desires to increase the total Level I Freeport Exemption to 80% as of January 1, 2019, as authorized by O.C.G.A. 48-5-48.2. A 80% Level 1 Freeport Exemption would result in a tax savings totaling approximately $1.6 million annually for Savannah manufacturing businesses.  

This exemption will apply to the following types of tangible personal property:

  • Inventory of goods in the process of being manufactured or produced including raw materials and partly finished goods
  • Inventory of finished goods manufactured or produced in Georgia held by the manufacturer or producer for a period not to exceed 12 months
  • Inventory of finished goods on January 1 that are stored in a warehouse, dock, or wharf that are destined for shipment outside of Georgia for a period not to exceed 12 months.


David Maxwell, CFO
Financial Impact
Each 20% increase in the Freeport Exemption results in a tax decrease of approximately $400,000.00. A 80% Freeport Exemption would result in tax reductions of approximately $1.6 million annually.
Review Comments
Resolution creating 80% level I freeport exemption.pdf
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