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County ready to set tax rate

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By The Staff

By JUDY UNDERWOOD

Morgan County News Editor

The county’s budget committee has reached an agreement on the budget for Fiscal Year 2008-09, according to Morgan County Executive Becky Ruppe.

Ruppe said Monday night that the committee has completed its work and will publish the proposed budget in next week’s Morgan County News prior to the county commission meeting planned for Aug. 11. Commissioners are expected to adopt the budget and set the tax rate at that time.

Ruppe said the proposed tax rate will be the same as last year. She also said the budget includes a two percent pay increase for county employees that is possible due to the excellent way the commissioners and Finance Director Gary Howard have managed the county’s money.

While the budget committee was finalizing the county’s finances for 2008-09, the Morgan County Board of Education was meeting in a special session to take another look at its proposed budget.

Although the Board was expected to approve its budget during Monday night’s meeting, it did not.

News that county employees are to receive a two percent pay raise had made it to the Board.

Board member Randy Harlan introduced the subject by saying that it isn’t fair that county employees get a two percent pay increase and school support staff don’t get anything.

He gained full support from the other Board members to attempt to get additional funds from county commission to give support staff pay raises before approving its budget.

According to data Harlan had gathered the Board will need an additional $57,000 to pay for the raises. Director of Schools Mike Davis was to pass along that request to Howard on Tuesday.

At press time there was no word yet on whether the budget committee will reconvene its recessed session to take up the request.