DAWSONVLLE, 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.