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Cape County employees see small raise in 2018

The Cape Girardeau County Commission passed a 2018 budget on Jan. 4 that included a $500 salary increase for full-time county employees.

County Auditor Pete Frazier said the $500 would not be all take-home pay, as it includes benefits and will be taxed.
Officeholders will not receive any increase in compensation because it was not a percentage raise.

Part-time employees will receive a 25-cent raise to their hourly pay.

The sheriff’s department has a merit system, where not all employees will receive the raise. Those who meet their expectations during their performance review will receive the full raise, while others could receive half or none of the raise.

The salary increase adds an estimated $118,000 to the county expenditures. Fraizier said the rest of the budget is fairly consistent with last year’s budget, with some increases in health insurance costs for the county and an additional $200,000 to cover 2018 election costs.

Fraizier added that county had more money carry over from 2017 than was originally expected, with a balance of over $2 million in the county’s general fund.

“Our balance on hand is higher than we originally anticipated,” Fraizier said. “Revenue did come in pretty stable and the expenditures were down just slightly from what we had seen in the past.”

The overall budget appropriations total $24.8 million, with an estimated revenue of more than $27 million dollars. Just under $13 million of that is appropriated into the general fund, with covers most county offices.

The road and bridge fund is budgeted at $4 million, the Proposition One sales-tax fund is budgeted at $7.5 million and the assessment fund is budgeted at a little more than $1 million.

The general sales tax revenue for 2018 is estimated at $7.4 million, which is close to last year’s actual revenue. Frazier said the number was a conservative estimate, as an increase in sales tax is not guaranteed.

Even with the conservative estimate, the county is expected to have an unencumbered balance of over $2.5 million at the end of the year.

Jay Forness covers education, county government and community events for The Cash-Book Journal. He graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in multimedia journalism and has lived in Jackson for the past four years. He can be reached at cbjedit@socket.net.

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