Activity ramps up for county tax vote |


Activity ramps up for county tax vote |

Robocalls and rallies are back in Newton County, precursors to the potentially contentious county budget vote looming Tuesday.

The Newton County Board of Commissioners is set to vote on the 2013-2014 budget and millage rate Tuesday night, and with a majority of commissioners previously reaching an informal consensus to raise the millage rate, tax hike protesters are making a last push to make their voices heard.

The county is holding a public hearing on a proposed $45.95 million budget— which would require the millage rate to be upped from 10.91 to 11.59 —at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Historic Courthouse. Chairman Keith Ellis said he will set the time limit for speakers during the public hearing based on how many people express an interest in speaking.

There also will be a public comment portion as normal during the regularly scheduled board meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Although citizens are normally given 3 minutes to speak, Ellis will again base speakers’ time limits on the number of people who want to speak. Because the zoning portion of the meeting must start at 7:30 p.m. by law, Ellis expects to limit comments to 30 minutes as well.

A newly formed group, Newton Conservative Liberty Alliance, is planning a rally on the Historic Courthouse steps at 5:45 p.m. Tuesday.

Local resident Aaron Brooks is planning to propose ideas about how the county could cut costs instead of raising taxes.

“We didn’t find any huge chunks but found little areas throughout,” said the group’s founder, Elizabeth Christian Allen, who noted she would also be going through a copy of the budget this weekend.

via Activity ramps up for county tax vote.

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