Commissioners vote in favor of raises for county employees

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) – Tippecanoe County Commissioners Tom Murtaugh and Dave Byers came into Monday’s meeting with different recommendations for county employees’ 2015 salaries. However, all three commissioners agreed to recommend to the County Council a three percent salary increase next year.

“It’s a matter of us being fiscally responsible,” Byers said. “It’s a matter, at the same time, that we are thanking the employees for what they do.”

“We’re looking at a two to three percent increase here,” Murtaugh said. “How does that affect the ongoing budgets for the county? Our revenues are not increasing that significantly.”

Murtaugh wanted a two percent increase. Byers and Commissioner John Knochel wanted something more than three percent, but at the meeting Byers felt three percent was appropriate.

Murtaugh said the county needs to be conservative about raises right now, but in the future it may be different.

“We don’t know with the success we’ve had with economic development, with Nanshan coming on board now, and GE in the near future, and the expansions at Subaru and Alcoa, how that will affect the economic income tax locally and the revenues from that fund,” Murtaugh said.

Auditor Jennifer Weston told the commissioners every one percent increase is about $300,000 to $325,000 of county money.

This year instead of a percentage raise, employees got a $1,000 stipend. Depending on a person’s salary, the percentage increase means they may not get as much next year as they did this year.

“That is why it was kind of designed that way,” Murtaugh said. “In the past, we’ve done that a lot where we have alternated between stipends and percentage raises.”

Since the three percent is a recommendation, it does not mean it will happen. The decision will be made during the Tippecanoe County Council’s budget hearing in September.

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