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Posted: October 25, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Citizens for tax relief?

 Dear Editor: I formed a group named Newton Citizens for Tax Relief some two years ago. Since then we have worked with the School Board and the Board of County Commissioners to increase the homestead exemption for seniors. The School Board saw fit to let the voters of Newton County vote on a $10,000 increase in the senior exemption, and it passed by 78 percent in February.

 The County commissioners then voted to let voters decide if seniors could have a $10,000 increase in their property tax which will be voted on Nov. 4.

Why should seniors be granted this relief from property and school taxes? I retired in 1993 and my retirement income has not changed except when Social Security gave a small increase, which they promptly took back with increases in medical premiums.

 However, starting about 2000 our homes values started escalating and by 2007 my taxes had increased by $1,000. Many seniors have seen more drastic increases in their taxes without increases in their income. Is it any wonder that we need relief? In many surrounding counties seniors pay no school taxes, do we just need to move?

We are talking about your mothers, fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers. We do not have the option on increasing our income. Talk to some seniors, and you will find their 401Ks shave fallen drastically in recent weeks, and they will have even less income.

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