The Dawson County Board of Education set the 2009 millage rate following a special called meeting July 17.
After a brief discussion of factors that would prevent rolling this year’s millage rate back, members of the board of education unanimously voted to approve this year’s rate at 13.646.
“We’ve had our budget hearing and adopted our budget and now we have to match that with our proposal for setting and establishing the millage rate,” said Superintendent of Dawson County Schools Nicky Gilleland during the meeting.
Millage is a property tax that serves as the prime source of fund gathering for public schools.
One “mill” is one dollar of tax per $1,000 of taxable property. Meaning that with a millage rate of 13.646, property owners are taxed $13.65 per $1,000 of taxable property.
Gilleland said the current millage rate is neither an increase nor a roll back and reflects the same rate that has been used by the county school system several times in the past.
“We just look at the stability of our budget and the issues that we have in trying to maintain a fund balance that will be secure and make sure that we can do what we need for children. At this point, we just didn’t see that we could roll back millage any at all,” said Gilleland.
“There’s just so much uncertainty right now, to have a good stable budget and be able to do what we need to do for the children, we’re going to ask that it be maintained,” he added.
Gilleland said that the 13.646 millage rate would not effect property owners drastically.
“We know going forward things are going to be tough, assessments should be different next year with the economy the way that it is, property values are going down and we’re not sure what that digest will look like next year, so there’s a lot of ifs out there right now,” said Gilleland.
“We know that there’s a lot of properties that were being assessed that are being appealed right now. A lot of that could change the digest, so when we get the final digest approved, maybe it will be different from what we see,” he added.
Gilleland ended the meeting by reaffirming Dawson County’s public school system’s need for a strong budget and millage rate that allows for unexpected obstacles that may arise in an uncertain economy.
“We want a strong budget that will really withstand emergencies. We put a quarter of a million dollars extra into energy costs and we’re not sure how that’s going to work out right now,” said Gilleland.
“Transportation came to me this morning and said diesel fuel with taxes cost them $4.27 and we budgeted it at $4.20. So we’re just not sure what those costs are going to end up being,” he added.
E-mail Adam C. Stapleton at email@example.com.