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Dawson County schools propose tax hike
Hearings set for July 14 and 21
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Dawson County public hearings

What: Proposed tax increase by the Dawson County Board of Education
When: 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. July 14; 8:30 a.m. July 21, with vote to follow
Where: Dawson County Board of Education Central Office, 517 Allen St., Dawsonville

The Dawson County Board of Education has scheduled several public hearings this month on a proposed tax hike.

The school board recently announced its intention to raise property taxes by 3.25 percent over the rollback millage rate to help offset a projected $300,000 budget deficit for the coming year.

School Superintendent Keith Porter said the continued loss of state funding, coupled with a lower tax digest, has left the board with no other options.

A tax exemption for seniors, which voters approved in November, further reduced funding for the system, according to the school board.

"We're trying to really cut our expenses to make our budget work," he said.

School officials began bracing for the drop in tax revenue months ago by trimming their budgets.

Cuts have included fewer teacher, staff and student days, as well as reductions in employee and retirement benefits.

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