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County to vote on taxes
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The countys portion of the property tax rate is expected to stay the same for the ninth year in a row.

At Thursdays work session of the Dawson County Board of Commissioners, Dena Bosten, the countys chief financial officer, recommended keeping the same millage rate from 2012. That rate is 8.138.

The millage rate is how the county calculates property taxes. One mill equals $1 of tax for every $1,000 in assessed property value.

If approved, the millage rate will be adopted at the countys voting session July 18.

The budget will project $8,326,004 in property tax money for county operations -- down from $8,887,180 in 2012. That is an approximate $561,000 decrease over 2012, which is a 6.3 percent decrease overall, Bosten said.

We are recommending to keep the millage at 8.138, she said.

Commissioner Chairman Mike Berg said he had been meeting with county departments and constitutional officers about the budget plan.

It does look like it (the budget) is going to work out; its going to be tight as usual, he said. But when we finish, I thinkwe will come up with something thats balanced and will not require us to increase from 8.138.

However, the county tax revenue has dropped almost 33 percent in the past four years. Berg said the drop is based primarily on foreclosures.

The biggest lump of revenue is dropping and has dropped, District-1 Commissioner Gary Pichon said. That is a big drop to contend with in the budget, he said.

Next year is going to be a pivotal year for us, Berg told the commissioners in reference to whether the millage rate would need toincrease or services to be cut, depending on the economy.

District-2 Commissioner James Swafford said he hoped the county would get through the economic downturn soon so it can beginrepairing roads and bridges.

I ran saying we need to do something with roads and bridges, and then we dont have any money to do anything with, Swafford said. Weve done a little. Im proud of what weve got done and what weve done has been quality work. But hopefully well get through this downturn and get leveled out and start the other way. Because at some point in the future were going to have to quitputting on Band-aids because were going to have major expenditures on road repairs and all this. Weve got to keep that in mind. We cant keep pushing it on down the road, he said.

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