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Posted: October 18, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Sorry, seniors

Our thoughts

 In February, the Newton County Board of Commissioners voted 3-2 to put a referendum on the ballot this fall that would raise the homestead exemption for seniors over 65 from $20,000 to $30,000.

 This referendum would also raise the minimum annual income needed for this exemption from $15,000 or less per year to $25,000 or less per year.

 This referendum comes on the heels of an exemption given to the same group last February which dealt with school taxes.

 Half a century ago this would have been a perfect request, a great deal of seniors then were on the lowest economic rung of the ladder in this country.

 There were screaming newspaper headlines saying the seniors were eating dog food and cat food in order to survive.

 That is when we rallied to the cause and businesses started senior discounts and seniors were given special breaks and special privileges, and at that time, it was the right thing to do.

 In today’s world seniors are no longer on the lowest rung of the ladder — our children and grandchildren are.

 If this referendum passes, the tax burden to make up for the lost revenue caused by its passage is going to be inherited by the children and grandchildren of Newton County

 In three more years when the baby-boomers reach 65, this burden will further damage the county’s ability to provide fire and police services.

 There is no question that not only seniors, but all of us need a tax break from the federal government, which finds ways to waste our hard-earned money every day.

 It is time we start providing breaks for our children and their children in these days of financial crisis just like we took care of our grandparents 50 years ago.

 Please vote "no" on the homestead exemption for seniors.

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