Gwinnett County, GA - Gwinnett County employees can expect to see a pay raise for the first time in five years if the full commission signs off on the 2014 budget in January.
The $1.5 billion spending plan, proposed by Commission Chair Charlotte Nash, was unveiled to commissioners for the first time Tuesday afternoon.
She tells WSB’s Sandra Parrish that it was important to include the 3 percent pay hike to remain competitive with other counties as well as the private sector.
“They have been through some difficult times the last few years and have sucked it up and kept it going making sure that services were provided every day; so, this is also a recognition of the fact that they have worked hard over that time period,” says Nash.
Although the budget is down slightly from the current year, the county will see an additional $6 million in revenue thanks to a 2.4 percent increase in the tax digest.
Nash says even though it’s only a modest growth, it’s a sign property values are going up.
“It’s good in terms of its impact related to the budget and giving us a little bit of breathing room to address some of the issues that needed to be addressed, but it’s even better because of what it’s saying about the economy as a whole,” she says.
The county will be paying an additional $3.9 million in health care costs next year, more than half of which is going directly to the federal government related to Obamacare.
“It was over $2 million what’s being assessed against us as an employer to help support the federal health care exchanges,” says Nash.
But none of the additional costs will be shared by employees, at least for 2014.
A public hearing on the budget will be held at 7 p.m. Dec. 9 with a vote by the full commission on Jan. 7.