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County approves millage
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Dawson County government is keeping its tax rate the same for the ninth year in a row.

"Another year at 8.138," County Commission Chairman Mike Berg said after the vote at Thursday's meeting.

Although the millage rate is staying the same, property values have dropped again for the fifth year in a row. This year, the drop in valuation was 6.31 percent.

The budget will project $8,326,004 in property tax money for county operations -- down from $8,887,180 in 2012.

Berg said he will present the budget to the board on Aug. 8.

Although the county is keeping its tax rate the same, property owners will see a rise in taxes.

Thats because on July 12, the Dawson County School Board voted to approve a property tax increase of 4.8 percentbringing the total rate for the county and schools to 17.246 mills.

Also at the meeting, commissioners unanimously approved two rezoning requests.

The first request came from Jeffrey Pittman, realtor for Highland One LLC.

Pittman requested that property located at Dawson Forest Road and Highway 400 be changed from Community Business Commercial to Highway Business Commercial. The current zoning limits the size a building can be.

"The key concern for us in seeking this request was to bring the property in alignment with the surrounding parcels and also provide some flexibility as it relates to the development of the property," Pittman said. "The building-size limitation was a key concern we had. ... We feel like we need to have the flexibility to attract a variety of users, whether it be a hotel or large retailer, without that stipulation it would be very difficult to go forth."

The zoning requests fit in with the future land-use plan, Planning and Zoning Director David McKee said.

The second request came from William and Mark Anglin. The two have a landscaping and stone store that sits on the Pickens/Dawson county line. The applicants requested the zoning be changed from Residential/Agricultural to Highway Business Commercial.

The majority of the property is in Pickens County. However, .77 of an acre is in Dawson County.

"The applicant was under the impression that his entire property was zoned for C-HB (highway commercial business) as it is in Pickens County, and since he only pays taxes in Pickens, he thought that is where he should pull permits," McKee said.

McKee said the zoning doesn't fit in with the future land-use plan, but due to the unusual circumstances, he recommended that the commissioners approve the request.

The commission also voted to pay $7,500 for a parcel of land from Coulson Beach property, located off Carlisle Road. Beach requested the zoning stay Commercial (CIR).

The county wants to purchase the property to make road improvements to Carlisle Road.