Public gets its say on county budget today

2014-05-20T00:00:00Z Public gets its say on county budget todayBy Jamar Younger Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

The Pima County Board of Supervisors will hold its hearing for the 2014-15 tentative county budget at today’s regular board meeting.

The meeting will start at 9 a.m. at the County Administration Building, 130 W. Congress St.

The proposed $1.17 billion budget for the next fiscal year calls for a nearly 28-cent increase in the primary property tax rate. The extra money would help expand the budget for the Sheriff’s Department and indigent defense services, which provides attorneys for those who can’t afford a lawyer, as well as other departments.

There are also a series of decision packages, which have separate tax increase proposals for the Sheriff’s Department, indigent defense, the new public service center, road repair and other items that would add another 33 cents to the proposed property tax rate.

In addition, there are proposed secondary tax increases for the county’s library and flood control districts, although those increases are expected to be offset by a reduction in debt service for the county’s bond debt.

The proposed budget calls for a cost-of-living raise for county employees that would increase wages by about 36.05 cents for hourly workers who make less than $37,500 per year. All other employees would get a 2 percent increase.

Some county employee groups have submitted their own proposals for wage increases to the county administrator.

For example, the Service Employees International Union is asking for a flat dollar amount increase for all employees. There have been discussions among county officials and some supervisors regarding a 50-cent-per-hour increase for all employees.

The Pima County Sheriff’s Department is asking for a step increase in lieu of a 2 percent increase for deputies and corrections officers.

The step increase would be the equivalent of a 5 percent raise, according to county documents.

The Pima County Probation Officers Association wants the salaries for its officers to match other counties, which amounts to a 4 percent raise.

Contact reporter Jamar Younger at jyounger@azstarnet.com or 573-4242. On Twitter @JamarYounger

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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