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Countys tax digest continues to slide
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Dawson County commissioners are expected Thursday to adopt the tax digest on which the 2013 budget will be based without raising the millage rate.

Cindy Campbell, the county's chief financial officer, presented the commission with a digest last week that would amount to an estimated about $8.9 million in tax revenue.

The levy is based on the valuations of about $1 billion of property in unincorporated Dawson and $64.1 million for the incorporated areas.

"Those preliminary numbers estimate that we're going to lose about 13.63 percent of net taxes," Campbell told the commission during a meeting June 28.

Barring any changes, the county's portion of the millage rate would remain at 8.138 mills, as it has for the last several years.

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 declining tax digest meant about $1.4 million less in funding for the 2012 budget, which followed a nearly $1.2 million drop in 2011.

Commission Chairman Mike Berg said the numbers are estimates and could change.

"At this point in time, that's what we base our budget on, so that's what we've got to go with," he said.

"If you look at the last five years, we're looking at somewhere around 25 to 30 percent in reduction, which certainly tests the finance department, finance folks and me to try to come up with a budget."

Berg is in the process of meeting with department heads and constitutional officers to discuss the county's budget for 2013.

He is tentatively set to present his recommended budget to the full commission Aug. 9.