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County budget
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The Newton County Board of Commissioners reached an informal consensus Monday on a $44.89 million dollar budget that won't require a millage rate increase.

While the budget continues to suffer from declining property values, which are expected to fall another 10-11 percent this year, the county finally had some increased revenues, including sales tax and a nice boost from increased insurance premium taxes that come from the state.

It appears that everybody got a little of what they wanted, including county employees, who got back a week of pay, while no one really got much more than last year.

It also appears commissioners put aside their usual political differences in agreeing to this new budget, a task undoubtedly made easier by the fact neither a tax increase nor tough cuts were on the table.

We thank the county finance staff for its hard work, and we hope the budgets ahead will be as smooth as this year's.