Lukenbill said requests for the 2015 budget are $9,041,321. Estimated tax levy is $6,425,243 and miscellaneous revenues are estimated to be $2,300,000. Total revenue next year is estimated to be $8,725,243.
Lukenbill said she would like to see the County Council cut $316,000 from the budget during budget hearings next Tuesday. She said 66% of the budget is salaries so cut will have to come from other line items.
Last month the Commissioners were notified of a substantial increase to the health insurance premiums next year. It was estimated to be a 20 to 25 percent increase.
Council members discussed the possibility of having employees pay 5% of their monthly premium up from the $1 annual payment they have paid for many years. Lukenbill said there are 185 employees who have the county’s insurance. If the council moves forward with having employees pay a bigger portion the 55 would equal approximately $59,000 annually.
Councilman John Benedict said, “It’s unrealistic that everyone doesn’t share in the cost. In the long term it can’t be sustained.”
Councilman Rex Gilliland said, “I have talked to employees and they are willing to pay to keep the good policy they have.”