10/27/11 – The Dodge County Finance Committee is recommending that a raise for county employees be a set 22-cents for everyone instead of the 1-percent across the board increase currently in the 2012 budget. That came during a three hour review of the budget last night that included board supervisors, department heads and employees. The change was suggested, in part, to help those at the lower end of the pay scale deal with the increased contributions to their health insurance and pension. County Administrator Jim Mielke says the change would add about $23,000 to the $390,000 set aside for pay increases in the 2012 budget. A second proposed amendment, unfreezing the wage step scale, was discussed but without knowing how much it would cost the committee said it would wait on a possible recommendation. The wage scale, which is a grid that lays out raises for employees based on longevity, has been frozen the past two years, and Mielke says they need to determine the financial impact and where they would get the money to pay for it before moving forward. The budget numbers themselves haven’t changed much since being introduced in August. Taxpayers in the county are looking at a 12-cent increase to their mill rate. Mielke says the budget would keep the tax levy the same as the 2011 budget, but due to a 2.2-percent decrease in county property values the mill rate would go up to $5.52 per $1,000 of assessed value. The public hearing on the budget is set for November 15th.