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MOROCCO — Newton County property owners may see some small relief in their 2019 taxes — payable 2020. The Newton County Council voted Aug. 21 to zero out the tax rate percentage for the Cumulative Capital Development Fund, which is used for capital improvements at the Newton County Jail and Courthouse.

The action came at the end of the third day of budget hearings for the council.

“Why would we keep a tax when we have landfill money for improvements like that,” said Councilmember Michael Mark at a previous council meeting. “Why not give our residents a little break when we can.”

It was reported that there is more than $843,000 currently in that fund. The tax rate that was zeroed out was equal to an additional 10 cents per $100 of assessed valuation.

“It’s not a huge break but at least it is something,” added Mark. “Our residents are already over-taxed.”

The motion made by Mark and seconded by Pat Mulligan was approved by the council unanimously.

The budget hearings were recessed until a special meeting can be called after the council gets all their budget information from the state along with their target budget number from their accounting firm Baker Tilly Municipal Advisors.

The council preliminarily went through all the budget requests from the county but did not take action on most personnel items including possible raises.

“We can’t intelligently discuss raises without those numbers,” said Councilmember Tim Lohr.

More details and discussions from the budget hearings will be reported on once final decisions on the budget are made at the special council meeting.

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