Raises actually cost more

Each raise increases county costs far beyond the cost of the raise.

When talking about the sheriff’s and other public officials’ pay, The Augusta Chronicle also should mention that, in terms of cost to the county, the salary is 30 percent to 40 percent higher because of benefits such as health insurance, disability insurance and retirement. The county cost for sheriff probably is close to $164,000.

Using the sheriff’s salary as an example, if he remains in office for 20 years and retires, the additional cost of this one $16,000 raise actually is $386,000, assuming a 5 percent raise every five years. It doesn’t end there.

Retirement pay is based on the last few years’ salary. This raise for the sheriff will cost the county an additional $386,000 and more, depending on how long he lives. The actual cost of this raise may exceed $772,000, adding salary and retirement costs and assuming 20 years’ retirement.

Many municipalities have financial trouble because of the future costs accrued by generous retirement and salary programs. Raises cost more than you think.

Paul Rosenzweig Jr.

Augusta

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