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Posted: June 17, 2014 10:00 p.m.

Conservative org to discuss lowering taxes, county spending

With the goals of reducing taxes and government spending, the Newton County Liberty Alliance (NCLA) will meet Thursday to discuss the Newton County fiscal year 2015 budget by asking for input from citizens.

The Newton County budget will go into effect July 1, 2014 and last to June 30, 2016 in accordance with the new two-year budget cycle, though mid-cycle changes are expected.

As The News reported, county commissioners are close to reaching a consensus in regards to the 2015 budget as of last Monday’s meeting.

The NCLA, a grassroots conservative organization that promotes lowering taxes and reducing government spending, is asking for help from citizens to reach the organization’s goals.

“We’re getting together and discussing the budget situation and running back and forth suggestions and ways to get the millage rate lowered as much as possible, as the BOC has stated this as its goal last year,” said NCLA member Marshall McCart.

County commissioners agreed to lower the millage rate, proposing two budgets: a $47.25 million budget at a millage rate of 10.99 and a $47.71 million budget at a rate of 11.225 at their June meeting. Since then, other options in between those millage rates have also been suggested.

The NCLA will be analyzing the BOC’s budget and proposing solutions for things like the county landfill, which McCart believes has been a major source of spending problems.

“There are certainly many things, but there is also an understanding that removing the furlough days and doing some things that haven’t been done the past few years need to get done,” McCart stated of the meeting’s agenda for Thursday.

The NCLA urges as many community members as possible to join them at Square Perk at 7 p.m. to discuss possible solutions to the millage rate, landfill and recycling center and other issues that affect spending.

“I think that’s something that hopefully the BOC is going to be looking at and making some of those big decisions that need to be made,” said McCart in regards to balancing employees’ expenditures and the good decisions that need to be made in the county government to help maintain this goal.

McCart urges everyone to engage with their representative on the Board of Commissioners of their district, and let them know what is on their minds.

Additionally, the NCLA will discuss the proposed Hwy 278 Community Improvement District (CID), a collection of business owners looking to self-tax in order to clean up the corridor.

They will also collect canned foods and donations for director Rosalee Thompson’s Newton Community Food Pantry, as well as honor her contributions to the community.

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