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Pierce County mill rate to drop

By Staff | Sep 24, 2010

Pierce County residents can expect a small drop in their county property taxes next year.

The county commission last week approved the preliminary 2011 budget which will have about a 10-mill reduction over this year.

That’s due to a higher mill rate, thanks to an increase in agriculture valuations and tax revenue from the Iberdrola Renewables Rugby Wind Farm.

While the mills will drop the amount of general funds the county will operate with will actually be going up due to an increase in the mill rate.

One county mill will generate about $17,910 which is about a $3,000 increase over this year, according to Karin Fursather, county auditor.

Included in the budget is about a four percent increase in wages for county employees. Just how much of a salary adjustment would be given was one of the final issues the commission wanted to work out before okaying the preliminary budget.

The budget also does not include two mills previously set aside for correction center expenses. That was taken out, since the facility has been operating in the black now for several months and has built up a cash reserve due to high inmate count.

The commission could trim the budget before it is formally passed on Oct. 5. Prior to passage, a public hearing on the budget is scheduled that morning.

Office hours increasing

Effective next year, county offices will work a 40-hour-week. Currently, the offices work 37.5 hours a week.

The change was adopted last week by the commission during its budget review.

As a result, county offices will be open one-half hour earlier, starting at 8:30 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. Workers will receive a 30-minute lunch break.

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