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County commission sets millage rate
FB DCN Government County

Some Dawson County residents will see a property tax increase following the county commission's vote Thursday evening to set the millage rate at 8.138 mills.

The millage rate is part of a formula used to calculate property taxes, where one mill equals $1 for every $1,000 in assessed property value. The county has maintained the same rate of 8.138 mills for at least a decade. 

New businesses and homes coming to the area as well as a recent countywide revaluation on all agricultural and residential real property has resulted in an overall increase in the total tax digest, or value of all the properties in the county. Leaving the rate the same as last year will increase the amount of taxes the county will collect by about 12.8 percent, or $1.3 million, over 2017.

This does not mean that every property owner will receive a higher tax bill, as some assessments stayed consistent or even decreased compared to last year.

By law the county must also calculate a rollback rate. A complete rollback to 7.393 mills would generate the same amount of revenue from property taxes as in 2017, which was $10.6 million. 

District 4 Commissioner Julie Hughes Nix's motion to maintain the rate was approved 3-1, with District 2 Commissioner Chris Gaines voting against setting the rate at 8.138. 

Earlier in the meeting Gaines had motioned to roll the rate back to 8.0635, a 10 percent rollback that would amount to around a $100,000 difference in the amount of taxes the county could collect compared to the current rate. Chairman Billy Thurmond seconded the motion for discussion purposes, but it was voted down 3-1. 

The commission will consider the approximately $2.3 million combined increase in property and sales taxes when setting the county's 2019 budget. Hearings on the spending plan wrapped up just this morning, and Thurmond should be ready to present a proposed budget in mid-September. 

The commission also voted 3-1 Thursday to reinstate impact fees at the maximum possible rate. Impact fees are one-time fees collected on new developments to help offset the costs of capital improvements and services.

Gaines was the dissenting vote.

This story will be updated. Check back tomorrow for more details from the meeting. 

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