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Richland would raise taxes under staff proposal

May 3, 2011 8:33:00 PM - thestate.com
Property owners in Richland would see a modest tax increase under the county’s proposed budget for 2011-12.

So would people who eat at restaurants, as the county reinstates a 2 percent tax on prepared meals to crank up work on a ballpark in Northeast Richland.

The proposed $138.6 million general-fund budget, outlined Tuesday by Administrator Milton Pope, includes no new employees or programs. The county work force of 1,997 people would go without raises for the third year in a row.

“It’s going to be a tight budget, as usual — as it has been the past two years,” council chairman Paul Livingston said later. “We’re just trying to maintain.”

The owner of a $100,000 home is virtually assured an increase of $5.60. While the council usually instructs the administrator to present a no-tax-increase budget, this year a majority agreed he should present a “responsible” budget. He built in the maximum increase allowed under state law and dipped into county savings, too.

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