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BOE upholds same millage rate
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The Dawson County Board of Education voted at its July meeting to keep local property taxes at the same rate for 2013.

Last year, the board approved a resolution to raise the millage rate by 1.9 mills to reportedly offset an expected budget deficit.

Before the raise, the school system's portion of the Dawson County millage rate had remained 13.646 mills for general operations and .4 mills for bond since 2001.

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 recent 3-0 vote continued the 2012 increased rate at 15.546 for operations and .4 for bonds. Board Member Will Wade was not present during the meeting.

Superintendent Keith Porter said the board maintained the current rate to further address financial challenges, including a $2.5 million loss in revenue for the 2013 budget.

"On top of the revenue losses, we have also experienced an increase in required expenditures for health insurance and teacher retirement that are beyond our discretion and amount to over half a million dollars. The austerity cuts from state funds continue as well," he said.

To prevent raising the millage rate the system cut more than 30 positions totaling nearly $2 million to make up for revenue cuts at the state level and rising health care insurance premium costs.

Of the millage increase initiated last year, 1.410 mills makes up for tax revenue lost to property reappraisals and .490 mills helps offset revenue lost to a senior exemption.

The Dawson County Board of Commissioners recently voted to keep the county's portion of the millage rate at 8.138 mills.

Therefore, with both the county and school board's portions set, the 2013 millage rate for Dawson County will remain at 24.334.