Vote Looms On County Budget

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The Luzerne County council is expected to make its final vote on the proposed 2012 budget Tuesday night. The proposal includes layoffs and a tax hike.

Council met Monday night to discuss the $122 million budget.

The proposal calls for a two percent property tax increase and a loss of 56 county employees.

Some county leaders think a wage freeze could prevent the tax increase and save the jobs on the chopping block.

“For 56 people to take the financial burden, when we have 1600, 1700 employees, some of them getting substantial raises, I think it unfortunate,” said county controller Walter Griffith. “I think the unions have a stake in this game. I think if they would take a salary freeze, that would certainly help the tax payers.”

The tax hike means the average homeowner would pay an extra $10 more a year.

Monday night was the last chance for Luzerne County taxpayers to make a public comment about the proposed budget.