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Dawson County’s government will bring in more revenue with its new millage rate
Dawson County courthouse

Note: This article has been updated to clarify an independent consultant's role in providing tax-related analytics and revaluation details.

Dawson County’s Board of Commissioners has approved the proposed millage rate of 7.2225 following an Aug. 4 hearing, the last of three hearings leading up to their vote. 

In July, the board announced that the county would lower its rate from 7.625 mills to the newly-adopted rate. 

This story continues below. 

Although the new rate is the lowest it’s been in five years, it represents a 13.05 percent increase in revenue or $1.696 million more than last year. According to a document in the BOC’s meeting packet, the tax digest is up 16.2 percent over last year. 

Taxes levied against a property will be lower compared to last year’s rate, but higher than if the BOC had adopted a full rollback rate. Because of a rise in assessed property values, the county will be taking in more revenue. Thus, the rate change is not considered a tax reduction. 

For a house valued at $375,000, about the average for a home in Dawson County, the newly-adopted rate of 7.2225 mills would levy $2,859.38 in taxes per year. The previous millage rate, 7.625 mills, would levy $2,708.44. If the rate had been fully rolled back to 6.82 mills, $2,557.5 would be levied, according to Chief Financial Officer Vickie Newkirk. 

In tangible terms, that means a homeowner with a $375,000 home would see about a $60.38 rise in county property taxes. Those numbers represent taxes prior to any exceptions for which the taxpayer is eligible.

When one citizen expressed concern about her 22-percent increase in property taxes, District 2 Commissioner Chris Gaines shared that the assessed value and the school system’s millage rate also affect a person’s property taxes. Generally, the way property taxes are allocated is about 66 percent toward school board taxes and about 33 percent toward county taxes, Gaines added of the different millage rates. 

“What we’re proposing tonight is to not set it (the county rate) at the highest amount possible,” Gaines said. “We’re proposing pulling it back in order to help alleviate some of those increases people have seen in valuation.”

Among Dawson County residents and landowners, 82 percent saw a rise in residential property value, with that increase being an average of 19.8 percent.

Individual homes or residential improvement values rose an average of 21.5 percent, consultant Kelly McCormick previously told DCN via email. His firm, McCormick Solutions, assisted Dawson County’s tax assessor’s office with analytics and revaluation details.

BOC Chairman Billy Thurmond added that there can be recourse if a person files an appeal with the tax assessor’s office, which has a separate board and process to address appeals. Homeowners may also be eligible for homestead exemptions. More details are available at https://www.dawsoncounty.org/taxassessor/page/appeal-information.