Commissioners hold line on new budget


Over the objections of several Santa Rosa County employees about the lack of raises, commissioners have passed a sizable budget increase for the new fiscal year without raising the property tax rate.

The budget boost capitalizes on rising property values—which yield more revenue at the same tax rate–and on additional funds created by the vehicle fuel tax of six cents per gallon.

But five county employees from the ranks of 385 positions that currently exist took to the public speaker’s podium at the final budget hearing on Sept. 15 to voice their disapproval.

“I just wanted to know if you had reconsidered the critical outcome for county workers” of not authorizing either cost-of-living or merit raises for the 12 months beginning today, said Mary English, a veteran county office staffer.

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