Pasco County Administrator Dan Biles initially recommended a 2% raise for county employees, reasoning that was in line with the current rate of inflation.
But, Pasco County Commissioners overrode Biles’ recommendation, agreeing instead with Commissioner Mike Wells’ push to give employees a 3% raise.
When he brought up the issue a few weeks ago, Wells said a 3% raise was in keeping with what the county’s constitutional officers planned to give their staffs, and also in line with the 3% raise approved by Gov. Ron DeSantis for state workers.
Wells revisited the issue again, at the board’s Aug. 4 meeting.
“To give you an idea of the impact on the general fund, for increasing from 2 (%) to 3 (%), is about $560,000,” Wells said. He also noted that sales tax receipts in May exceeded the county’s expectations.
“So, we have the money,” Wells said, then proceeded to make a motion to increase the proposed raise by 1% — resulting in a 3% raise.
Commissioners approved the motion unanimously.
Later in the meeting, Biles briefed commissioners on revenues, in light of COVID-19.
“The general sales tax, as he mentioned, was above what we had actually projected in the 20 (fiscal year 2020) budget — the pre-COVID 20 budget number, not the post-COVID budget number, which is great news,” Biles said.
However, he added: “The good news only goes so far. The gas tax has still taken a pretty significant hit, across all elements of the gas tax.
“Of course, the tourist development tax is still down, and ambulance fees are still down, as well,” he added.
On a brighter note, building activity is up.
“We’re issuing a lot of permits. Building revenue is up 6%, and that’s taking into account that we reduced the fees 10% last year. So, if you compare like to like, it’s actually up 16% over ’19 (fiscal year 2019), year to date,” Biles said.
Published August 12, 2020