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Dawson County's school board voted on a new property tax rate. Here’s what that means for your bill
Board of Education Sign.JPG
The Board of Education building at 28 Main Street. - photo by Jessica Taylor

At the Aug. 9 meeting of the Dawson County Board of Education, board members voted unanimously to approve a new millage rate of 14.2. 

In a millage presentation to the board before the vote, Finance Director Beth Covington explained that the new millage rate is lower than last year’s adopted rate of 15, and higher than the rollback millage rate of 13.305, or the rate computed using the current tax digest to produce the same total revenue that last year’s millage would have produced if no reassessments occurred. 

For taxpayers, this means that the taxes levied against a property under the new rate will be lower than under last year’s rate, but higher than if the board had adopted the rollback rate. So for a house valued at $375,000, which is the average value of a home in Dawson County, the previous rate of 15 mills would levy $2,250 in taxes per year and the new rate of 14.2 would levy  $2,130 per year. Had the board adopted the rollback rate, the taxes levied would be $1,996 per year. 

“The difference between a millage of 15 and 14.2 would lower the homeowner taxes by $120, or $10 a month,” Covington said during the millage hearing. “So the cost to taxpayers of going with 14.2 over 13.305 is about $11 per month of additional taxes.” 

The new rate of 14.2 follows a trend over the past several years of the Board of Education lowering the millage rate each year. Over the past nine years, the board has steadily decreased the millage from 2014’s rate of 17.246 to the newly approved rate of 14.2. 

Also during Tuesday’s meeting, Covington provided information comparing Dawson County’s new rate to the 2022 rates of surrounding counties. Compared to other counties, Dawson’s new rate of 14.2 comes in lower than those of Cherokee (18.2), Forsyth (17.3), Hall (15.99) and Lumpkin (14.7), and higher than those of Gilmer (11.099) and Fannin (10.159). 

In accordance with state law, the board held three public hearings preceding their vote to adopt the new rate, in order to allow the public to voice their opinions on the proposed new rate. No members of the public elected to speak at any of the three hearings. 

The board voted unanimously to approve the new millage rate of 14.2.