Mandated: Rich Get Richer In County Government

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It really is a case of the rich getting richer, while the less well-off continue to struggle to just get by.

Beginning in July, it will pay even more to be an elected official in Cannon County Government.

And that's just the beginning of the bonanza, as county officials will see an even bigger raise the following fiscal year.

Meanwhile, county employees haven't had a raise in several years, and it's not looking like they'll be getting one this year.

But local elected officials aren't the ones who decided they'll be getting a total increase in pay of 4.10 percent over the next two fiscal years. That decision was made at the state level.

Last year, the Tennessee General Assembly voted to increase pay for state employees 1.60 percent. By law, every time state employees received a pay increase, it is mandated that county officials receive the same increase the following year.

This year the state legislature voted to increase the pay for state workers 2.50 percent, which will go into effect for local elected officials in FY2013-2014.

While the state legislature mandates the pay increase for local elected officials, the money comes out of the pockets of Cannon County taxpayers. Starting with FY2013-14 citizens will be paying their elected officials a total of over $27,000 more per year - an amount which would add more than a penny to the county's property tax.

Beginning with FY2012-2013 which starts July 1, local officials will see the following salary increases:

County Executive: From $66,702 to $67,843 in 2012-2013, to $69,539 in 2013-2014.

County Sheriff: From $63,527 to $64,613, then to $66,228 in 2013-2014.

The positions of Trustee, Clerk and Master, Register of Deeds, Assessor of Property, County Court Clerk and Circuit Court Clerk will go from 57,751 this year to $58,739 in FY2012-2013 and then to $60,207 in 2012-2014.

Administrator of Elections pay goes from $51,976 to $54,186 in FY2013-2014, while General Sessions Judge increases to $85,318 from the current $80,656.

Several local officials The Cannon Courier spoke with indicted they wished the money could be spent elsewhere.

Both Sheriff Darrell Young and Circuit Court Clerk Lynne Foster said they didn't need a salary increase and that the money should be used to give raises to their employees.
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