Franklin County commissioners said Tuesday they hope to give county employees some form of a pay increase in 2014.
If there is an increase, it may not come in the form of a raise but a “stipend,” Second District Commissioner Mike Schatz said.
This would be a one-time increase that would not automatically happen again in subsequent years, Schatz explained. This way, the county would not be committing itself to the increase in the future.
The commissioners don’t want to give a raise and then be put in a position of not being able to afford it in future years, First District Commissioner Tim Brinker said.
Brinker said it is unknown right now whether employees will get raises next year, but there should be an answer within 60 days, he said.
Presiding Commissioner John Griesheimer said the commissioners’ goal is to give raises, but if that can’t happen, he would at least like to give the workers a one-time stipend.
Schatz noted that the commissioners will soon have budget meetings with the different county departments. He said he thinks every day about giving employees a pay increase.
Employees have not had an across-the-board raise since 2008, but they were given a one-time bonus of $700 in 2011. That bonus was only for full-time employees and did not include elected officials or department heads.
A 1 percent across-the-board raise would cost the county about $150,000, Brinker said.
Griesheimer said he is pleased that the employees will not be faced with an increase in health insurance costs next year.
If a one-time stipend is given this year, Schatz said he would like it to at least be $750.
The pay increases could possibly be given to all employees, including full-time and part-time workers as well as elected officials and department heads, Griesheimer said.
“Everything’s on the table,” he said.
Sales tax collections have factored into the discussion of whether the county can afford to give raises next year. The county’s sale tax collections dipped in September but remain up for the year.
Collections fell by $98,704 compared to September of last year.
But for the year collections are still ahead by $384,157 compared to the first nine months of 2012
So far this year, the county has collected more than $12 million in sales taxes compared to $11.66 million the same time period last year.
The county collects three half-cent sales taxes — general fund, law enforcement and capital improvements/road and bridge.