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The county’s finance committee voted to recommend magistrates accept only a 1 percent increase for 2012, keeping in line with the committee’s recommendation to other county agencies.
Magistrates and some other elected officials are eligible for a 2.96 percent raise based on the consumer price index and accommodating increasing in the cost of living.
The CPI raise is the only way salaries can be raised after being capped at $7,200 in the state constitution.
Officials also receive expense allowances and training pay.
In a recent fiscal court meeting, District 5 Magistrate JD Sparks said he believes county officials should decline the offer of a raise. Because of declining tax revenues, Sparks doesn’t believe accepting the raise is beneficial to the county’s budget or to the county’s taxpayers.
The magistrates will vote on accepting the raise, but Richard Tanner, director of the Kentucky Magistrates and Commissioners Association, said a decision to decline the raise would have to be unanimous. Theiss said several magistrates have said they will vote against any raise, but Theiss is unsure if the vote must be unanimous in Oldham County.
Regardless of the vote, the magistrates can donate back any portion of their salary they wish. So can the judge-executive, county clerk, sheriff, jailer and coroner, who all receive the raise automatically.
The 2.96 percent increase has not yet been officially handed down by the state, but should come soon. The issue will then be added to the fiscal court agenda for a magisterial vote.
The Oldham Era will be publishing which officials accept the raise, along with salary information, in an upcoming edition.