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County to decide on senior tax cut
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The Newton County Board of Commissioners will consider a proposal at their next meeting Tuesday night to extend a property tax cut to senior citizens.

The proposal, if approved by the board and then passed in a Newton County voter referendum in November, would increase the senior homestead exemption from $20,000 to $30,000.

The proposal, brought forward by District 4 Commissioner J.C. Henderson with the support of many county seniors, was first raised at the BOC's Jan.15 meeting. At that time the board said they did not have enough information to vote on the proposal.

Data on how the proposal would affect county tax revenue was not available as of press time.

Frank Davis, president of Newton County Citizens for Tax Relief, encouraged county seniors to attend Tuesday night's meeting in a recent e-mail.

"With enough people there, they will have to take a vote and if they do not approve it we will know who we do not need to vote for next election," said Davis.

As a voting bloc senior citizens regularly turn out to the polls in high numbers.

A proposal similar to the one the BOC will consider will be put before county voters in a special referendum on Tuesday.

That proposal, introduced by the Newton County Board of Education, would increase the current BOE homestead exemption from $20,000 to $30,000 and increase the income cap of seniors eligible for the exemption to $25,000. Currently only seniors with an income of $15,000 or less qualify for the homestead exemption.