Tax cut?

The Covington News - - OPINION -

Back in July, the Newton County Board of Com­mis­sion­ers voted to raise the mill­age/prop­erty tax rate, a move that al­lowed the county to col­lect an ad­di­tional $1.16 mil­lion in prop­erty taxes.

At the time, com­mis­sion­ers clearly stated that the raise was to be a tem­po­rary one, with a goal of re­duc­ing the rate within two years.

They started a strate­gic plan­ning process with the goal of sav­ing money, in­creas­ing non-prop­erty- tax rev­enue, or both.

Re­cently, we’ve run some pos­i­tive sto­ries about our county be­ing po­si­tioned to see growth, in­clud­ing re­tail and in­dus­trial growth. We agree with of­fi­cials that in­creas­ing the busi­ness tax base will be the only way to have a brighter fu­ture while re­duc­ing the tax bur­den on res­i­dents.

Com­mis­sion­ers need to keep their prom­ise; as they noted, it’s the only way to keep the trust of the pub­lic. How­ever, they need to be thought­ful and not cut off their noses to spite their faces. It of­ten takes money to make money.

And that’s the con­stant dance that all elected of­fi­cials have to do as they strive to keep tax rates low while pro­vid­ing qual­ity ser­vices that res­i­dents want and need.

Com­mis­sion­ers pledged to lower the tax rate, so now they’re com­mit­ted. But the more im­por­tant is­sue is po­si­tion­ing Newton County so we don’t need tax in­creases in the next five, 10 or 15 years.

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