The Central Virginian

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Louisa County considers pay raises following tax hike

Posted on Thursday, November 15, 2012 at 11:05 am

In June, county supervisors approved a three-cent real estate tax increase, along with a three percent budget reduction, to help close a $4 million operations budget deficit.

Three months later, supervisors discussed ways to recover delinquent taxes owed by approximately 25 percent of county employees — including 284 school employees, 53 government employees and nine human services employees. Several supervisors said county workers should be held to a higher standard.

Last week, board members discussed across-the-board pay raises for all county employees, including those employed by the school division.

“I felt it was the right thing to do so I put it on the table.” Supervisor Willie Gentry (Cuckoo District) said Tuesday, adding that he did not vote for the real estate tax increase or approve of making an example of county employees who did not pay their taxes on time.

Gentry said that county government workers had not received a pay raise in six years, adding that 11 positions had been cut in the past three years and that many had to take up the slack during the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake.

“We were already running pretty lean and they stepped up to the task,” Gentry said. “They are the county’s most valuable asset and we need to recognize them.”

He said that despite tough economic conditions, surrounding localities — and other organizations that operate in Louisa County such as JAUNT and the public library — had approved raises for their employees.

“My opinion is that if they can reward their employees, we can too,” Gentry said.

Supervisor Fitzgerald Barnes (Patrick Henry District) agreed with Gentry, seconded the motion for the purpose of discussion, and pushed for a three percent raise with offsetting savings.

Barnes, whose wife is employed by the school division, said he supported a three percent raise for government workers, excluding school employees.

“I’ll let the school board handle that through their own budget,” Barnes said Friday, pointing out that other supervisors also have family members employed by the county.

To read the entire story, see the Nov. 15 edition of The Central Virginian.