About 74 cents of each tax dollar paid to the Franklin County, Pa., government general fund this year will be spent on the county’s criminal justice system.
The county commissioners unanimously approved a final 2013 budget last week.
The plan calls for $112.9 million in spending for all operations and services, with $42.7 million targeted for the general fund that supports the probation department, courts, the Day Reporting Center, the jail, elections, veterans affairs and row offices such as the clerk of courts and prothonotary.
The commissioners raised real estate taxes one-half of one mill to fund the budget. They said the average homeowner’s bill will increase about $9.
A mill represents $1 for every $1,000 of assessed property value.
According to budget documents, slightly less than three-fourths of each tax dollar will be spent on crime, courts and corrections. That percentage is in line with recent years.
Spending increases are anticipated for the county-operated nursing home and the emergency services department. The commissioners said those represent large portions of the anticipated $485,000 in new spending.
County employees received a 2 percent pay increase for 2013.
“No one is served if we don’t provide competitive wages,” David Keller, chairman of the commissioners, said in a previous interview.
The commissioners placed $907,000 into a contingency fund. That fund will be utilized as the board considers whether to hire new full-time employees in the jail and planning and custodial departments, and a part-time employee in the emergency services department.
The commissioners also raised the tax for library services by one-fourth of one mill. The library services tax, also levied against real estate, appears separately on tax bills.
The county’s overall real estate tax rate is now 25.65 mills, plus an additional 1.05 mills for library services.