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Newton GOP does robocall against tax increase
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The Newton County Republican Party sent out a robocall this week opposing a planned millage rate increase by the Newton County Board of Commissioners.

The board is expected to vote on the millage rate - known colloquially as the property tax rate - at its Tuesday board meeting at 7 p.m. at the Historic Courthouse. At a prior budget meeting, three commissioners, Levie Maddox, Nancy Schulz and Lanier Sims, came to an informal consensus on a $45.95 million budget that would require the millage rate to be increased from 10.91 to 11.59.

That rate is referred to as the rollback - sometimes called "rollup" - rate, becuase it increases the millage rate in order to make up for an overall decline in the tax digest, which is the overall value of the county's land, buildings, vehicles, timber and heavy equipment.

There will also be a 6:30 p.m. public hearing on the budget Tuesday.

Here is the opening text of the robocall:

"Hi, this is the Newton County Republican Party calling to warn you that the Newton County Board of Commissioners is considering a significant property tax increase on the citizens of Newton County.

"We cannot afford higher taxes and we must stop this tax increase. Please join us in opposing this tax increase today by calling your county commissioner."

The call then refers people to either or the local Republican Party's Facebook page to get commissioners phone numbers and encourages people to attend the commisison meeting to oppose the tax rate increase.

The call ends with, "This call was paid for by the Newton County Republican Party - 404-567-5455."