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Supervisors approve budget; lower tax levy

Elected officials to receive a 4 percent increase

March 14, 2012
Anne Blankenship - Managing Editor ( , The Daily Freeman Journal

Hamilton County residents will pay a little bit less in county taxes in 2013, according to the county supervisors who approved the budget for the coming year Tuesday morning.

Chairman David Young said one of the highlights of the new budget was that fact that property valuations went up across the county by 3.59 percent.

"We had enough funds to operate the county, so one of our biggest decisions was how much to lower the levy. That's a nice place to be in," he said.

"We are lowering the levies by $.40 per thousand. In the urban areas, that means a 5.85 percent decrease. In rural areas, the levies will fall by 3.79 percent.

"We are asking about $44,000 less in tax dollars than we did last year," Young said.

"This budget literally came together without a lot of pomp and circumstance or disagreements," said Chairman David Young.

He said the budget also includes wage increases for county workers. Law enforcement will see a $.46 per hour raise, while secondary roads employees and non-union workers will see a 2.5 percent wage increase. Public health employees will also receive a 2.5 percent increase, according to Young.

The county saw a 6.2 percent rate increase for family insurance plans, and a 5.8 percent increase to the single insurance plans. But Young said the county will also see a 3 percent discount in insurance premiums due to the strong wellness plan in place for county employees.

"So if you take that 3 percent away from those increases, it was a very nominal health insurance increase," said Young.

Libraries across the county will see an increase in funding - about $4,000 -for the first time in several years

"We've also increased our contribution from local option sales tax for this year and next year for the libraries," Supervisor Wes Sweedler said.

The county budget totals $20,118,681, up about $300,000 from the current budgeted fiscal year, Sweedler said.

The board also approved the recommendation from the compensation board, increasing the elected officials' salaries by 4 percent. The wages would increase as follows:

attorney: $62,528.96 to $65,030.12;

auditor: $49,580.96 to $51,564.20;

recorder: $48,219.96 to $50,148.38;

sheriff: $64,851.28 to $67,445.33;

supervisors: $33,032.48 to $34,353.78;

treasurer: $48,548.24 to $50,490.17.



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