County to de­cide on se­nior tax cut

Con­cerned se­niors ex­pected to at­tend

The Covington News - - Front Page - By Rachel Oswald

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 email.

“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.

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