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BOC approves rollback millage

COVINGTON - County commissioners Tuesday night approved the rollback millage rate of 11.54 mils by a vote of 4 to 1, despite public outcry against the move at the public hearing prior to the meeting and citizens comments during the meeting.

The motion to approve the millage rate, made by District 3 Commissioner Nancy Schulz, included the stipulation that commissioners begin strategic budget planning beginning Aug. 16 with the goal of reducing the millage rate within two years.

The motion was approved by Commissioners Lanier Sims, J.C. Henderson and Levie Maddox. District 1 Commissioner John Douglas was the sole dissenter.

The rollback rate will mean an increase in property taxes of about $27 for a $100,000 house.

Schulz said the rollback rate, the millage rate needed keep revenues at the same level as the prior year, should fluctuate based on the tax digest. When revenues increase, the board should reduce the rate, she said.

"If there's such a thing as a temporary tax I've never seen it, and I've been in government a long time," Douglas said.

Douglas made a substitute motion to retain the current millage of 10.91 mils but it died for lack of a second.

About a dozen residents spoke in opposition to the rate during the public hearing and regular meeting. A protest rally prior to the public hearing outside the courthouse drew about 30 people. They peacefully assembled and held homemade signs with messages mostly aimed directly at elected officials, such as "Do Your BOC Job Cut Wasteful Spending" and "Raise Scrutiny on Wasteful Spending Not Our Taxes!!!"

Keep checking www.newtoncitizen.com for more information.

Comments

eyewitness 1 year, 2 months ago

Get Schulz and Maddox and JC and Sims OUT OF OFFICE next go round. They are not for the people. VOTE THEM OUT.

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Thishonky 1 year, 2 months ago

Don't come to Newton County. Your BOC gives themselves a RAISE while raising your tax burden. Houses are foreclosing like mad and the streets and back neighborhoods look like squalor out of a third world crime nation. Race issues are dividing the county taxes are awful in the city in the county on the BOE and the whole school system achieves low and most high schools are very unsafe. Move to Morgan County or Putnam but don't come to Newton it looks like a modern Memorial Drive on Hwy 278 what a shame this town is.

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PaperChase 1 year, 2 months ago

Atlanta officials have always made fun of Newton County with backwards government and awful crime and bad schools. This just makes no one want to come here now with a BOC who votes themselves a raise and then penalizes property owners who are footing the bill for the sickening looking eyesores all over this nasty county.

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Meep 1 year, 2 months ago

Message to Baxter employees: Buy your homes in another county but never in Newton County you will be forced to deal with crooked elected officials and will have to pay for private schools unless you want a worthless diploma from one of the worst systems in the state when cross referenced with the maxed out millage rate.

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dennistay53 1 year, 2 months ago

List of commissioners who lied to you on the 2011 SPLOST when they said pass it to avoid property tax increase

District 2 Lanier Sims District 3 Nancy Schulz District 4 JC Henderson. Did not even show up for the budget hearing.

We worked hard to try and get them to live upto their promises and vote No. Sorry to all of you that we were not able to get them vote No.

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Bemused 1 year, 2 months ago

You might want to rethink this. The 2011 SPLOST that passed was the product of Mort Ewing, JC Henderson and Tim Fleming. Nancy Schulz presented a different SPLOST that would have had a lot more debt reduction and didn't have unnecessary pork (i.e. Mort's Ag Palace).

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dennistay53 1 year, 2 months ago

Whoever was on the board when the 2011 SPLOST was put out is responsible for living up to promises made to the voters. The SPLOST was put out by the Board of Commissioners, not one person. I don't recall Schulz coming out and saying don't vote for the 2011 SPLOST because it was bad. Do you?

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Frustrated 1 year, 2 months ago

I guess the BOC believes you CAN get blood out of a turnip. What you going to do when the taxpayers can afford to pay their property and school taxes? It called living within your income. As an old saying goes When your output exceeds your income, your upkeep will be your downfall.

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deathtotaxes 1 year, 2 months ago

Looks like Baxter got the deal and we are paying for it. Newton citizens were sold out by greedy politicians!

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dennistay53 1 year, 2 months ago

I like a reporter and paper that takes the time to put out an accurate article as done here telling both sides without bias.

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Neuhierl 1 year, 2 months ago

I fully support this rollback rate. Everyone I know is paying much less in taxes, even with the rollback rate, than they were 5 years ago due to the drop in property values. This county doesn't have enough money to do the things that need doing, like maintaining roads. The Sheriff's Department has to run events to raise money for the K-9 program and look for grants. Still they are underfunded because there isn't enough money. There are many many roads that need repair and there isn't enough money. The BOC didn't give themselves a raise they made it possible to continue running the county, even without the funds we need. I read that this rollback rate will only bring us to the level of revenues we had last year, and that rate wasn't enough. All of the naysayers have yet to say where the money will come from to run the county. If you know where some waste is that can be cut or where there is money to fix the roads and do all the other things that need doing, speak about that. Don't just complain, do something to help.

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Frustrated 1 year, 2 months ago

I think more the question should be if and when the housing market improves and values increase will they then reduce property taxes?

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dennistay53 1 year, 2 months ago

@Neuhierl- First of all, we gave this board many ways to cut to avoid this tax increase. You must not work for a living by your comments because MANY have reduced wages, less income from this depression called a recession and have had to make ends meet. Up in North Newton we have required very little in road repair and Sheriff Dept. As far as roads I lived on a road claimed by the county for 30 years. Never in those 30 years did they put a dime on that road and never did we go crying for them to do so. I took money out of my pocket to pay for the repairs. I personally don't think ANY subdivision road should be owned or kept up by the county but should be kept up by the builder of the subdivision and tenants. Same with security. If you live in a high crime subdivision you should be responsible for your own security. They can send 7 deputies to a commission to watch over a few protestors then they probably have to much help and money going that way. Also when I go by and see 5 county workers standing around watching one county worker cutting a tree I have no pity for more money going to county workforce. You need to get out and ride around like I do looking at things going on in this county. Spend a little money out of your own pocket on things you need and you wouldn't be as free at taking other folks money.

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