There has been a lot of talk in the Budget Worshops about the Evergreen Employee Classification and Compensation Study but it hasn’t been released to the Commission or to the public. The roughly $16,000,000 budget deficet is partially due to budget requests for pay increases. Another big part of the deficet is due to increased health care benefits costs. It’s not going to be possible to continue with health care plans that the previous broker repeatedly called “rich” and give raises without a huge tax increase.
Here are some things to consider about Blount County government and its citizenry.
Blount County is providing free dental benefits to its employees. The employees pay for the family plan but if they opt for the employee only plan it’s free. The cost to the county per employee, as discussed at the May 15, 2014 Commission meeting, is $23.15 per employee per month. The county pays the same amount for the family plan and employees pay the difference of $49.24 per month for family coverage. This seems like a good place to start cutting.
Current health care plans and costs reported at the Budget Workshop on Monday:
|Plan||Employee Pays||Taxpayers Pay||Total Costs|
|Employee Plus Child||125||975||1100|
|Employee Plus Spouse||150||975||1125|
The 2013 per capita income in Blount County is $23,788. Some of the county employees making less than the per capita income are part time employees.
The median household income for Blount County (2009-2013) is $45,991. Many households include two incomes. There are about 18 pages of Blount County government employees making more than the median household income for just one salary. There are 24 pages of people making over $40,000 with one income. Couple this with the fact that benefit plans are far better than what is available in most of the private sector and the cost of each position becomes a whole lot more than just the base salary.
It may seem like some employees are underpaid, and perhaps there some who are. However many county government employees are making more than the people paying their salaries and benefits are living on.