DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — The Dawson County Board of Commissioner held the third public hearing on the millage rate Thursday then voted unanimously to set the rate at 8.138 mils, the same as last year. Although the rate remains the same, it is higher than the rollback rate and represents an increase in property taxes of 4.32 percent.
When the total digest of taxable property is prepared, Georgia law requires a rollback millage rate be computed that will produce the same total revenue as the current year’s digest that last year’s millage rate would have produced had no reassessment occurred. Georgia law also requires three public hearings. Previous public hearings were held on August 11 and 18.
Commissioners are considering a proposed 2017 budget that requires a millage rate higher than the rollback millage rate.
Charlie Tarver was the lone speaker at Thursday’s meeting and he encouraged commissioners to “think long and hard about a rollback.”
Tarver said his concern is that a rollback this year could lead to a much higher tax increase next year.
He pointed out that the county has some pressing needs that have to be addressed. “I did confirm there are only two firefighters to work at one fire station,” he said. “There is one to set up the truck and the other has to wait until more help arrives. There is a new judge coming in and that has to be funded. About 16 percent of the county’s vehicles are past their expected life cycle. It’s time to quit patching the inner tube and replace the tube.”
Prior to the public hearing, commissioners held a work session to discuss additional funding for the Tax Commissioner’s office, a request to contract with an independent bond attorney and a new time frame to sign up to speak at commission meetings. Those issues will be voted on at the next regular meeting of the commissioners.
DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — The Dawson County Board of Commissioners held the first of three public hearings on the 2016 millage rate and property taxes. The proposal is to leave the millage rate at 8.138, effectively increasing homeowners’ property taxes by 4.32 percent.
Commissioners say a millage rate higher than the rollback rate is needed to support the 2017 budget and to continue to provide badly needed services to the county’s citizens.
Charlie Tarver encouraged commissioners to invest more in the county’s future, particularly in the fire department. “We don’t have enough fire hydrants, there is a lot of turnover and Fire Station No. 3 has only two people working there,” he said. “The time to invest in our future is now.”
Hugh Stowers said some property values are not being assessed fairly and equally. “I don’t understand why you need to raise taxes next year. My taxes have already gone up. Some assessments are too low. There is a lot of money out there if you could get the tax assessors to do their job correctly.”
Weldon Sheriff said, “In my opinion, the millage rate should be rolled back. I’m here to oppose this.”
Georgia law requires three public hearings before counties can finalize the budget and set the millage rate. The next public hearings are set for August 18 at 6p.m., and August 24 at 4 p.m. in the Commissioners Meeting Room at the Dawson County Courthouse. All concerned citizens are invited to speak.