Oxford County officials approve $6.58 million budget

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PARIS — Oxford County commissioners voted unanimously to enact a $6.58 million budget for 2015.

The spending plan was endorsed by Budget Committee members last month. 

Though total expenditures are $410,940 more than last year — a 6.7 percent increase — revenues have increased by $161,126, offsetting the pinch on property owners who are asked to raise $146,403 more than last year. The county’s tax levy equates to a $.025 increase per thousand dollars of assessed value. 

The county tax usually represents the smallest of the three portions on residents’ property tax bills. The other two are municipal and school spending.

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Spending fully funds most departments; the increases are attributed to the creation of a new position created in the administrator’s office, $175,000 in repair work to the county courthouse building and a 2 percent wage increase for nonunion employees. Employee benefits, mostly health insurance and retirement payouts, are up $83,748. 

The budget does not include overlay, which won’t be factored until after taxes are committed. 

The largest single source of expenditures comes from the Sheriff’s Office at $1.37 million. 

The commissioners’ vote also utilizes $460,000 from the county’s casino revenue account — the same as last year — to offset the local impact on property taxpayers. Oxford County receives 1 percent of all slot and table game revenues from the Oxford Casino, which is usually about $720,000 yearly, though 2014 figures are expected to exceed that amount. 

ccrosby@sunjournal.com

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