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Mena Arkansas News covering Polk County and the surrounding area

County approves raises

Effective Sept.1, first raise in a year and a half

By Jeri Borst

County employee may be seeing larger paychecks after the Polk County Quorum Court voted to approve raises.

The recommendation from County Judge Brandon Ellison and the Salary and Personnel Committee to give a 4% raise to all county employees and county elected officials was approved unanimously.

The raises are effective Sept. 1 and include part time employees, but not Justice of the Peace since they are technically district elected officials.

“We are fortunate to have some really good employees,” Ellison said. “This will enable us to retain them as well as recruit quality new employees.”

Ellison told the court that the raise is justified in part because of the healthy general fund balance and increasing trends in property tax.

“Periodic pay raises help keep us competitive,” Ellison said. “There has been a year and half gap in pay increases and we have not increased the number of employees in the last 10 years.”

Ellison said there are fewer county employees now than in the past 10 year and he does not recommend increasing the number in the near future.

The cost of the raises is expected to be $42,000 from the general fund and $17,500 from the road fund for the remaining five months of 2020.

Ellison said sales tax revenue has shown an increase, but he warns of a slight decline in current state funding and that the increase in local sales tax may wane as stimulus and unemployment benefits decline. Although he is hopeful that the increase in sales tax revenue will remain higher than average as a result of the collection of internet sales tax revenue.

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