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Tax increase unlikely
Schools, county decide to hold rates
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While neighboring counties are opting to increase property taxes to offset declining revenue, Dawson County officials do not plan to raise the millage rate for 2011.


The Board of Education voted 4-0 on July 6 to keep its portion of the millage rate at 13.646, where it has stayed for the past nine years, despite the hardship the decision could create.


“It’s going to be a really challenging year with the cuts we received from the state,” said Superintendent Keith Porter. “We know this is a little precarious when you set a rate with the cuts we’re having and not knowing if any others are coming.


“But at this point we feel like this is the appropriate action.”


Likewise, Dawson County Commission Chairman Mike Berg has recommended the board keep the county government’s portion of the millage rate at 8.138 percent.


“We are one of the few counties, certainly the only county that’s surrounding us, that has kept the same millage rate,” Berg said. “Every other has talked about going up or has already gone up.”


A mill is equal to $1 for each $1,000 in assessed property value.


The board is expected to adopt the county’s portion of the millage rate during Thursday’s voting session.


The rate of 8.138 percent, combined with the school system’s portion and a bond amount, equals 22.184. That’s the same overall rate as the last six years.


Berg is scheduled to present the county’s budget for 2011 during the board’s work session Aug. 12. Three public hearings are required before the spending plan can be adopted.


County departments have been asked to cut about 2 percent from their 2011 budgets in light of the current economic climate.


Staff writer Frank Reddy contributed to this story.